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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

First time buyer stamp duty change 'will have only limited effect'

The Nationwide says the Chancellor’s decision to effectively scrap stamp duty for the majority of first time buyers will have only a ‘limited effect’ on the market generally or first time purchasers in particular.

“The decision in the Budget to abolish SDLT for first time buyers purchasing a property up to £300,000 (with relief for those purchasing a property up to £500,000) is likely to have only a modest impact on overall demand. In many regions, first time buyers already paid little or no stamp duty as the price of the typical first time buyer property was below the previous threshold of £125,000” says Nationwide’s chief economist, Robert Gardner.

His comments come after his office released the latest house price figures, showing annual change relatively steady at 2.5 per cent following a modest 0.1 per cent rise in prices in November.

A typical home now costs £209,988 says the Nationwide.

“Annual growth remains within the 2.0 to 4.0 per cent range that has prevailed since March” says Gardner. 

“Low mortgage rates and healthy rates of employment growth are providing support for demand, but this is being partly offset by pressure on household incomes, which appears to be weighing on confidence. The lack of homes on the market is providing support to house prices.”

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