If we’re being honest, there are a million things we’d rather be doing than watching Philip Hammond announce a lot of stuff we don’t understand in this year’s Budget. However, with so many things on the line for young people this time around – from potential student loan cuts to a new millennial railcard – we thought we’d listen in. Like clockwork, the first big piece of news for us youths has come rolling in, and it’s actually quite good. From today, people buying their first home will no longer have to pay stamp duty on any property up to £300,000. What’s stamp duty, we hear you cry? It’s essentially an extra tax on your property, which, until now had seen you pay an percentage of your house value on top of all your other fees. Yes, it’s as bad as it sounds. For example, if your first home cost you £225,000, you’d pay 2 per cent on the amount that fell between £125,001 and £250,000 and nothing on the amount below that threshold. If it cost you £149,999, you’d pay zero stamp duty in all. This percentage then rises to five per cent on anything over £250,001, basically making the home buying experience even more expensive than it already is. This guy’s put it all a nice nutshell for us:
— Rob Young (@robyounguk) November 22, 2017
On top of your deposit to actually get secure house, which now sits at an average of £33,000, and the ever-rising cost of house currently averaging £223,257, having to pull together a few extra thousand for stamp duty is another fee few can actually afford. Seeing this abolished today will certainly prove helpful to young people with money in the bank and in a position to move, but for many it will offer little promise. With the UK in the midst of a housing crisis, as a result of the Conservative government’s failure to build an adequate amount of new homes over the last seven years, paired with a growing population and millennials earning around 20 per cent less than their parent’s generation, owning a property is a distant dream for many young people.
Not forgetting the average age of the UK’s first time buyers now sits at 30, it’s clear there’s still a long way to go before affordable housing actually becomes a reality. Read more: Theresa May: Attempting To Help Students With Latest Policy Announcements