Tim Russ of Tim Russ & Company comments on the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s autumn budget and how it affects the property market.

In the autumn budget the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond made a series of changes designed to help the housing sector.

Abolishing stamp duty for first time buyers – including those purchasing properties up to £300,000 outside London – is a huge step in the right direction in helping thousands of people afford their first homes. The Chancellor has listened to the property industry and made this important change. He has also started on a path to create more new homes by easing planning obstructions and questioning those developers who may ‘hoard’ land.

All this is good news. But governments often refer to housing as a catch-all subject when it is really several different topics: specifically new home construction, the rental sector and the pre-owned property sales.

Building new homes is crucial to help ease demand. But so too is making the process of buying and selling homes further up the market chain easier and cheaper as this will stimulate activity and create movement.

A workforce made inflexible because of property market inertia cannot be helpful to the economy. Taking draconian stamp duty away from first time buyers may bring welcome opportunities and advantages in that sector. But that doesn’t help second, third or fourth time buyers. At some stage first time buyers usually want to step up. If they are then prevented from doing so through the disincentive of high stamp duty this will create a ‘logjam’.


Tim Russ Comments

At last some good news for the housing sector.  We need first time buyers to step in to the property market and certainly stamp duty has been one of the disincentives.  Across our branch network in Buckinghamshire and South Oxfordshire, we have 22 properties for sale up to £300,000 and between £300,000 – £500,000 where there is a saving of stamp duty we have 57 properties.  I hope first time buyers will visit our website, see where the choices and we will be delighted to help them on to the first rung of the ladder.