As the Chancellor prepares to deliver his Budget today, research from Aldermore has revealed the measures prospective first-time buyers want put in place to help them get a foot on the property ladder.
The introduction of policies to reduce the number of empty homes across the UK and the extension of the Help to Buy scheme to all property types, not just new-builds, were the top two Budget wishes from first-time buyers, followed closely by Right to Buy, with 29% of the 2,004 people interviewed wanting to see the scheme provide much needed support for those aspiring to buy their first home.
Additional Budget wishes include other incentives for landlords to sell to long-term tenants (27%) and the scrapping of stamp duty in favour of a different type of property tax (19%).
Several reports suggest that the Philip Hammond is considering using today’s Budget to introduce a so-called ‘good landlord’ tax break rewarding buy-to-let investors who sell properties to sitting tenants.
Under existing rules, investors who sell a rental property are liable to pay capital gains tax at 28% on any profits they make, which is a major disincentive to selling up. But under the ‘Good Landlord’ plan, landlords would be eligible for tax relief with the windfall split equally with the tenant, who could use it as part of their mortgage deposit.
Damian Thompson, director of mortgages at Aldermore, said: “There is no doubt first-time buyers are facing an uphill battle to get on the housing ladder and they believe more needs to be done by the government to improve their chances of getting the keys to their first home.
Abolishing stamp duty for first time buyers in last year’s Budget was a promising move, but underlying challenges, such as affordability and supply shortages, remain.
“In 2017, more than 200,000 homes in England sat empty for more than six months, according to government figures. Getting these houses back on the market to help ease the shortfall of housing supply and provide more choice to first-time buyers has proved a popular idea among would-be buyers.
“We think the suggested measures highlighted in our research can provide the government with food for thought, and we hope to see housing feature at the top of the agenda.”