Should the government consider a stamp duty holiday for first time buyers? - HAS Property Management

Should the government consider a stamp duty holiday for first time buyers?

The latest analysis from estate agent, haart, has revealed that across England and Wales house prices fell during March by 0.2% and are down 3.2% on the year. According to the estate agent, average house prices are now sitting at £223,224.

haart’s data showed that new buyer demand for homes fell by 10.1% on the month and is still down annually by 34.6%. Additionally the number of properties coming onto the market has risen by 0.1% on the month, however is down by 23.8% on the year. This month there are 10 buyers chasing every property across England and Wales.

The market has become more efficient this month, as the number of transactions has decreased at a higher rate than the number of viewings has increased. Meaning that buyers are choosing to look at fewer properties before they buy.

The average purchase price for first-time buyers has risen on the month by 7.7%, and 0.1% on the year. This comes as the number of first-time buyers entering the market has fallen by a significant 10.1% on the month, and by 34.6% on the year.

As average purchase prices rises, so does the average amount first-time buyers are paying for their deposit, by 6.3% on the month, however have increased by 3.3% on the year.

The average property price in London has fallen by 1.7% on the month and 0.5% on the year. The annual fall was less than across the UK. The number of new buyers entering the market has fallen by 8.7% on the month, however, is down by 32.3%. At the same time, the number of new instructions has risen 1.4% on the month, however, is down by 28.6% on the month. Sale transactions are up by 5.7% on the month, however are down by 25.1% on the year.

The number of tenants entering the market has dropped this month, by 11.1% on the month, and 30.7% annually. Despite a drop in demand, rents have increased by 1.1% on the month, as the average rent now sits at £1,250 across the UK. Demand in London has also fallen by 4.1% on the month, and by 32.9% on the year. Rents have fallen by 1%, and the average rental price now sits at £1,779 across London.

The number of landlords registering to buy has fallen this month, by 10.4% in England and wales, and by 10% in London. The annual fall is greater, 39.4% and 55.7% on the year respectively. The number of buy-to-let sales rose on the month by 0.1% in England and Wales, but fell by 18.5% in London. This comes as sale prices rose 5.9% across England and Wales, but fell by 2% in London. This is down 2.3% on the year for England and Wales, but up 11.9% on the year in London.

Paul Smith, CEO of haart, had this to say: “Elections usually see a slow-down in the market, and this year is certainly no different. However thankfully this time round the run up period is short, and soon the property market can jump off this latest political rollercoaster and resume activity again.

A General Election should be a good thing in the long run. A clearer vision on Brexit should hopefully allow for a new Government to stop being distracted, and put more pressing issues – such as housing and homeownership – first. As the chronic housing shortage continues to spiral out of control, and the size of deposits and stamp duty continues to soar, purchasing a property remains nothing but a pipe dream for millions. And that is hardly a vote winner.

The Government should be radical and consider:

A Stamp Duty holiday for first time buyers

Incentives for older families looking to move up the ladder

Incentives for older people looking to downsize

These policies would increase fluidity in the market, and free up more properties – ensuring that more people have an opportunity to put roots down in a community and to have somewhere they can truly call home. Clearly there will be an impact on tax take – but new home owners spend lavishly on white goods, carpets and other services which all carry a 20% VAT.”