Brokers call for Stamp Duty threshold to be upped

Research from GE Money Home Lending has found that half of UK brokers think the Stamp Duty threshold should rise immediately and be fixed at the average national house price.

Duncan Berry, director of mortgage sales at GEMHL, says: In what looks set to be the chancellors final Budget, it is important that first-time buyers and the affordability of housing are a priority.

“With increasing interest rates and rising property prices, more and more people are finding it harder to get on the ladder.

Clearly brokers feel that stamp duty is a key concern for their customers and yet another added cost for first time buyers.

As lenders it is important that we continue to develop innovative ways of helping first-time buyers take that much desired step onto the housing ladder.

With the chancellor announcing his Budget this week, mortgage brokers up and down the country would like to see an increase in the Stamp Duty exclusion band in line with the average national house price, says GEMHL..

The rise, if it were implemented, would take the exclusion band from 125,000 to just over 200,000, an increase of more than 75,000 and would save a buyer over 2,000.

The research, which asked mortgage brokers their views on the budget and possible action to help the plight of first time buyers, revealed that almost a third (30%) believe that the chancellor should remove stamp duty altogether for those looking to get onto the ladder.

A tiny proportion are happy with it as it is (4%) over a quarter claiming that pegging it to regional house prices was the way forward.

Some brokers, however, believe that there are other solutions open to the chancellor, including making more affordable housing (20%); increasing housing stock (10%) and having more share ownership schemes (4%).

The industry remains focused on helping young people to buy their first home, and according to brokers 100% mortgages and affordability calculators have had the biggest positive impact for first time buyers in recent years.

Other innovative developments which brokers think have been important include shared ownership schemes (22%); flexible mortgages (7%) and cashback mortgages (6%).

Berry adds: The industry has introduced several tools to help alleviate the problems many people face when looking to buy their first home with 100% mortgages and affordability calculators having provided some solution to the issue.

“However, with the average house price at just over 200,000 and the exclusion of Stamp Duty being just 125,000, many still have to pay-out huge amounts in tax on top of the purchasing price and other costs associated with buying a property.

“This continues to add to the high costs associated with buying a home.