The first-time buyer stamp duty cut was made for political reasons rather than being about housing policy, the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has claimed in its Quarterly Economic Bulleting for the fourth quarter of 2017.
AMI said the change will do little to aid mobility in the market or boost transactions, while it could result in steeper mortgage rates at higher loan-to-values in 2018.
The bulletin said: “Tackling the stamp duty conundrum was needed, but AMI is of the view that restricting the changes to first-time buyers will do nothing to aid mobility in the market or boost transactions, which remain sluggish.
“[The change] may contribute further to lender reluctance to offer super competitive rates at high LTV after the OBR warned any savings made by first-time buyers in stamp duty were likely to add to price inflation.”
The association expects mortgage approvals and housing transactions to be flat in 2018, with gross lending likely to rise to £265bn.
It said brokers are offering the most value in specific markets like buy-to-let, self-employed, lending into retirement and first-time buyer.