14th December 2011

Government gives up on Stamp Duty

Chancellor George Osborne has not extended the Stamp Duty holiday for first time buyers despite massive lobbying from the mortgage and estate agency industries. The Government has taken the view that the Stamp Duty break has proved ineffective and has not benefited first time buyers the way that it had been anticipated. I do tend to agree with the Government’s view and think that the cost of the Stamp Duty relief would be better spent assisting first time buyers in relation to the deposit. The Government has mentioned a scheme where it will underwrite 95% mortgages for first time buyers for new build purchases. My experience indicates that first time buyers rarely buy new properties and I advocate a Government Guarantee scheme for first time buyers for all properties. A recent National Association of Estate Agents Report advised that the proportion of first time buyers fell to 16% in October from 23% the month before and I would urge the Government to do more to help first time buyers.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner and Head of Property



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