15 May, 2008
Gordon Brown has announced a number of measures to help first time buyers on to the property market, however according to Michelle Spensley, Head of Conveyancing services at Forbes Solicitors the measures set out fail to solve one of the key problems of rising stamp duty costs which is deterring many first time buyers.
Michelle comments "The government is trying to assist first time buyers with schemes such as improving access to shared ownership property, however they are failing to recognise the major problem of increasing stamp duty costs. In my experience this added expense is a major factor putting off many first time buyers".
The average amount of stamp duty paid by first time buyers between 2002 and 2007 has increased by 82%. With the rising cost of house prices over recent years, more and more properties are failing to fall under the stamp duty threshold and more than half of Britain's working population cannot afford to buy a home. Last year, stamp duty tax provided the government with revenue of £6.4 billion pounds.