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This was the main theme of Chancellor Phillip Hammond’s second budget as he committed to spending more on infrastructure projects and stimulating the housing market.
He had to put on a good performance to keep his job after criticism following the Spring Budget. His jokes were better this time but there was very little good news on the tax front and some worrying economic figures, particularly the growth forecasts. A stamp duty holiday for first-time homebuyers was hotly tipped prior to the Budget but nevertheless, it was still a surprise that the duty for such buyers was abolished.
In an attempt to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder and stimulate the housing market the chancellor announced that for property purchases completed on or after 22 November 2017 there would be no SDLT payable if the purchase price is below £300,000.
This will be a permanent measure rather than a temporary holiday. Those claiming the relief will pay no SDLT on the first £300,000 of the consideration and 5% on any remainder. No relief will be available where the total consideration is more than £500,000. It should be noted that were a property is bought in joint names it must be the first property owned by all purchasers.