Spring budget 2017 – comment from Richard Stovold, Director of Seymours Estate Agents
It’s unlikely that Chancellor Phillip Hammond’s recent Spring Budget will be remembered for years to come, particularly within the housing market as his speech was noticeably lacking any announcements on the sector.
The Chancellor completely ignored calls for relief on stamp duty charges that would boost movement in the property market – a move which has already been slammed as a ‘missed opportunity’ by key figures, both inside and outside of the housing sector.
Property prices remain at an almost 10-year-high and in Surrey, where average house prices sit above £500,000, the total stamp duty payable is £15,000.
However, it’s no longer just second and third-time-buyers who are being hit by this stifling tax, the duty payable on a starter home costing £350,000 adds £7,500 to the cost of buying, making a step onto the housing ladder that bit more out of reach for first time buyers.
And that shows little sign of changing. The forecast for economic growth for 2017 has been raised to 2% - up from November’s prediction of 1.4%. We feel prices, in Surrey, will rise in line with or slightly beyond economic growth, to an increase of 2% or 3%.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Sensibly priced homes are still in strong demand so there are plenty of opportunities both to buy and sell in the area and there are also plenty of savings options for those who feel they are priced out of the market.
For those saving for their first property, the Chancellor did announce a new NS&I Bond, which will be available from April this year and will pay a fixed rate of 2.2% interest on deposits of up to £3000 and the Lifetime ISA, which can be used to save for a first home or retirement, is also set to launch on April 6.