Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Stamp duty cut failing to boost housing market, says Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

Average property stock levels on estate agents' books are close to all-time lows. Credit: PA

Last year’s stamp duty cut for first-time buyers has done little to reinvigorating Britain’s housing market, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

Research carried out in December revealed 86% of surveyors reported no increase in first-time buyer inquiries following the changes.

Though Rics admitted this could be seasonal, it asked surveyors whether they thought the cut would likely impact the market in the coming months.

Some 66% said the stamp duty cut would have little effect, although 12% said they it would result in higher overall activity.

"The initial feedback from the market doesn't suggest that the change in the stamp duty regime announced in the Budget is going to have a material impact." Credit: PA

It was announced in November that first-time buyers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland paying £300,000 or less for a home would not be required to pay stamp duty.

Rics said the fresh supply of new homes coming to market has been in decline for nearly two years - with December seeing a 23-month run in which there has been no positive reading.

Average property stock levels on estate agents' books are close to all-time lows, it said.

"So, with effect from today for all first-time buyer purchases up to £300,000, I am abolishing stamp duty altogether," Hammond said in November. Credit: PA

Rics found a "lack of conviction" surrounding the near-term outlook for house prices, with surveyors in London feeling the most negative, and the most upbeat results coming from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

"The initial feedback from the market doesn't suggest that the change in the stamp duty regime announced in the Budget is going to have a material impact on activity,” Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist, said.

"Indeed, the risk was always that a good portion of the benefit would be capitalised in the price, therefore limiting the benefit for the first-time buyer."

A Treasury spokeswoman said: "We want to restore the dream of homeownership for a new generation.

"Over the next five years, our stamp duty cut will help over a million first-time buyers getting onto the housing ladder, with an estimated 16,000 first-time buyer purchases alone since the changes took effect in November."