UK stamp duty changes set to boost house building

Taylor Scott International News

A leading UK builder has announced that the recent reforms to the Stamp Duty property tax has given it the confidence to bring forward the next phase of a major development. While the stamp duty reform has been widely hailed as a boost for first time buyers trying to get on the housing market the announcement from Crest Nicholson shows it is also going to boost house building. The house builder said it will bring forward the next phase of development at Centenary Quay in Southampton and build 280 new homes, some 128 of them in the next year. New analysis by the company revealed that the reforms will save buyers in Southampton over £1,660 per transaction and increase demand for new homes. In addition, since 2013 some 44% of sales at Centenary Quay were made through the government’s Help to Buy scheme and a further 101 apartments were sold for Build to Rent. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who announced the stamp duty changes in his autumn statement earlier this month, described it as great news. ‘Not only are Crest Nicholson building more homes quicker but buyers will also see real cash saving when they purchase a house,’ he explained. ‘Stamp duty was one of the worst designed taxes and acted as a real brake on aspiration for those who wanted to get on or move up the housing ladder. As part of our long term economic plan we have made the system fairer so people only pay tax on the part of the property that falls within each band. The average property will pay £4,500 less stamp duty, with 98% of people who buy a home benefiting from the reform,’ he added. Debbie Aplin, managing director of Crest Nicholson Regeneration, said the reforms will undoubtedly boost activity in the housing market, re-stimulating building rates and enable the firm to drive the rate of sales back to pre-recessionary levels. ‘Last year alone we were able to facilitate 571 new home purchases through government backed incentive schemes such as Help to Buy, and now with the addition of stamp duty reform we remain committed to our target of building in excess of 3,000 new homes in the UK in 2015,’ she pointed out. ‘This will in turn support further job creation and have a positive overall impact on the entire economy. Most importantly though, the impact of changes to stamp duty will remove a lot of uncertainty for consumers over the coming months, helping to solve the affordability challenge so many purchasers are facing,’ she explained. ‘This is particularly true for first time buyers struggling to get on the housing ladder. A massive 72% of our purchasers benefiting from Help to Buy were first time buyers, and we hope to see a similar impact from stamp duty reforms,’ she added. The Home Builders Federation has campaigned for the abolition of the stamp duty slab system that caused distortions in the market, penalised buyers… Continue reading →

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