Just Mortgages comments on changes to stamp duty – mini-budget

As the Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announces a permanent change to stamp duty as part of his ‘mini-budget’, John Phillips, national operations director at Just Mortgages said: “A permanent change to stamp duty thresholds will be welcome news to house buyers and a relief to the sector who certainly feared the carnage of previous temporary measures.

“Raising the lower end of stamp duty seemed like the most logical option for the new chancellor to hopefully release more first-time buyers and take 200,000 buyers out of paying stamp duty altogether. Whilst the real-world cost of moving does now reduce, it does still raise questions about affordability as house prices only continue to rise.

“There’s also the question of how the market will react. There’s no question conveyancing never fully recovered from previous measures and the property market is still under increased pressure today with transactions taking as long as 22 weeks to complete. Now add in extra volume to changing criteria, longer lead times and short supply and it creates a very challenging environment.

“Whilst plans were announced to liberalise planning rules and create investment zones to encourage development of new homes, it will be interesting to see how long it will be until the property market feels that benefit.

“But even against a backdrop of rising interest rates and a cost-of-living-crisis, our nationwide network of brokers has seen homeowners acting with real urgency to seek advice and explore options before further rate rises or changes in situation. With a change in stamp duty and a tangible drop in the cost to move, it’s only right to expect that urgency to intensify.

“As a result, solid financial advice will remain absolutely vital for homeowners looking to capitalise, first time buyers trying to check affordability and navigate potentially higher property prices and parents exploring equity release to get family members on the ladder.”