Budget “missed opportunity” to help first-time buyers

Wednesday’s Budget was “a missed opportunity” to aid first-time buyers in their attempts to get on the housing ladder, it has been suggested.

The majority of first-time buyers are caught in a stamp duty “tax trap”, Alliance & Leicester has claimed.

Spokesman Stephen Leonard, director of mortgages at the building society, described the Budget as “a lost opportunity to redress the burden of stamp duty”.

According to his organisation, 62 per cent of first-time buyers “are looking for homes over the current £125,000 stamp duty threshold”.

“As the current average house price for a first time buyer stands at £151,030, the limit needs to be at least this amount to have any effect,” said Mr Leonard.

The Budget did waive stamp duty for any house over the value of £500,000 that has a zero carbon rating, but this measure will have little impact on the market in general.

Wednesday’s Budget was Mr Brown’s eleventh as chancellor and may be his last if he replaces Tony Blair as leader of the Labour party in the near future, as has been widely predicted.

© Adfero Ltd

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