Stamp duty for first-time buyers of shared ownership properties worth up to £500,000 will be abolished, it has been announced in the 2018 Budget.
The move follows the end of stamp duty for first-time buyers on properties with a £300,000 ceiling in the 2017 Budget, when it was also axed on the first £300,000 of a purchase price up to £500,000 to help first-time buyers in London. It was a move that helped see the highest levels of mortgaged first-time buyers in a decade at the start of this year.
“We will make this relief retrospective so any first time buyer who has made such a purchase since the last Budget will benefit,” announced Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond.
He also pledged a further £500m for the Housing Infrastructure Fund to help with the construction of 650,000 new homes, taking the fund to £5.5bn.
Rejuvenating the high street was also on Mr. Hammond’s agenda, with £675m allocated to what he called a ‘Future High Streets Fund’.
“We are consulting on simplification of the process for conversion of commercial property into new homes,” Mr Hammond added.
It was also announced that, from April 2020, lettings relief would be limited to properties where the owner is in shared occupancy with the tenant.
Measures to improve transport and infrastructure were also a feature of the Budget, the first to be delivered on a Monday since 1962. An extra £37m has been allocated to improve the trans Pennine rail route connecting Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and the north-east, while £420m has been pledged to tackle potholes and other small-scale road repairs.