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Hammond urged to review Stamp Duty in Autumn Statement

Chancellor Philip Hammond will deliver his first Autumn Statement on November 23 and there is one policy on the lips of most of the property industry, Stamp Duty.

Many have already called for a scrapping of the additional rate on second properties, but now Hammond is facing calls for exemptions for certain buyers.

Rob Ellice, founder of online agent easyProperty, is calling for buyers to be spared Stamp Duty on purchases below £250,000.

He said: “Osborne had the foresight in the recession to increase the threshold to £250,000 for first-time buyers to help prevent a market freefall.

“We are now, again, on the cusp of economic and political uncertainty as a result of Brexit, and I believe we need to encourage property investment – by home owners and institutions – by upping this threshold once again.

“A lot has happened in ten years and this would be a shot in the arm.”

He is also calling on the Chancellor to create tax incentives for the institutional Build to Rent sector.

Toni Smith, sales operation director for LSL brand First Complete, is calling for Stamp Duty thresholds to either be increased or for an exemption for first-time buyers.

He said: “The Government should help first-time buyers to get on the property ladder by increasing the threshold or indeed making them exempt from paying Stamp Duty on house purchases up to a set value.

“The threshold for Stamp Duty exemption for first-time buyers would of course need to reflect regional differences in property values across the UK. Clearly, the market in Hampstead is different to the market in Hull.

“Life isn’t getting any easier for most first-time buyers and the end of Help to Buy, rising inflation pressuring wages and a falling pound – which may make UK property hotspots more attractive for overseas investors – aren’t going to improve things any further.

“The market would benefit from a stimulus at the lower end to give first-time buyers a leg up on to the ladder. The simplest and most effective way to do that is by reviewing Stamp Duty for this population.”

Using shared ownership as an example of how an exemption could work, Smith said: “After all, shared ownership buyers with a share of a property worth below £125,000 are already exempt.

“There is no reason that the same principle cannot be applied to first-time buyers across the UK, who are unlikely to own a large share of their property – often just 10%, with 90% being owned by the lender.”