Stamp duty and Help to Buy changes needed

Ryan Fowler

July 19, 2016

stamp duty

The chairman of one of the UK’s largest housebuilders has called for stamp duty and Help to Buy changes to drive the housing market forward and keep the economy growing.

Redrow founder and chairman Steve Morgan was speaking at the launch of Woodford Garden Village, one of the largest brownfield redevelopments in the North West.

He said: “Stamp duty has a huge impact on the market. Not only do buyers have to raise huge deposits, they then have to find thousands more in stamp duty. The last two increases have been very damaging, particularly to the London market.”

CML SENIOR ECONOMIST: Why stamp duty is damaging the market

He also called for government to extend the time limit from application to completion on Help to Buy equity loans to 12 months from the current six.

This would enable first-time buyers to reserve a new build house farther in advance of its completion when using the incentive; allowing them to compete with investors who are free to reserve at an earlier stage.

Overall though the Redrow chairman was positive about the housing market, and saw the current climate as a good time for housebuilders, with land finally coming through the planning system – albeit still too slowly for his liking – and for customers, with mortgage interest costs remaining low.

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