Stamp duty changes fail to boost negative housing outlook: BSA

Consumers have welcomed the decision to abolish stamp duty, but this has done little to improve the negative perceptions about the housing market.

The Building Societies Association Property Tracker found that for the third quarter in a row more people said now was not a good time to buy property.

This survey found that consumers were more concerned about the potential risks to the housing market, rather than potential benefits. Risks cited included the increased cost of living and Brexit.

More than half of those surveyed though the changes to stamp duty should make housing more affordable for first-time buyers. However, most potential buyers do not cite stamp duty as a major barrier to home ownership.

In total 30 per cent of respondents disagreed with the statement that now is a good time to buy property. Only 24 per cent agreed. This trend has remained largely unchanged for the past nine months.

Over this period though there has been a marked increase in the number of people worried that rising living costs could de-stabilise the housing market. A year ago only 38 per cent of consumers said this was a concern; now almost half (47 per cent) think this is likely to happen.

BSA’s chief economist Andrew Gall says: “It is positive to see that the Government is taking action to make the journey to home ownership easier for many people. Consumers clearly agree: and the majority feel the stamp duty exemption will make properties more affordable for first-time buyers.

“However, stamp duty has not been a top four barrier in this property tracker’s nine-year history.”

Gall adds: “Raising a deposit remains the greatest challenge. In December, 69 per cent of consumers said this was the biggest barrier, virtually unchanged from September despite these stamp duty changes.”


Chancellor, budget

Chancellor defends FTB stamp duty cut decision

The Chancellor has defended his Budget decision to cut stamp duty for first-time buyers. Yesterday Philip Hammond said first-time buyers buying properties worth up to £300,000 would no longer have to pay the tax. He said that in more expensive areas “such as London”, stamp duty will be abolished on the first £300,000 of properties […]


Chancellor closes stamp duty surcharge loophole

The Chancellor has closed a potential loophole which may have allowed some second-home owners and landlords to escape the 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge. This rule change – which is effective immediately – should also help prevent divorcing couples being hit by these higher stamp duty rates. They will be exempt from this surcharge […]


Consumers worried about 2017 housing market: BSA

Consumers are worried housing market stability could be hit next year by rising living costs and  interest rates, the Building Societies Association says. The BSA’s latest property tracker survey results show that the post-Referendum spike in property market confidence was short lived. The BSA says fewer consumers believe now is as a good time to […]


ERC wants FCA clarity over retirement interest-only loans

The Equity Release Council has called for more clarity from the FCA on proposals to bring back retirement interest-only mortgages. Earlier this year the regulator announced a consultation paper on the issue. It says it has found a regulatory barrier to helping older borrowers with maturing interest-only mortgages and those wanting to release equity from […]

Auto-enrolment: tips for employers

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has released advice on communications for employers, including three tips to help you with your auto-enrolment duties. 1. Allow enough time to select your pension schemeIt’s recommended that you start to prepare for auto-enrolment at least 12 months in advance of your staging date; additionally, give yourself time to choose the […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up