Housebuilders hail ‘hugely welcome’ stamp duty cut

Housing firms have hailed the Government’s stamp duty cut as a “hugely welcome” step to help the sector’s recovery.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that, from July 15 until March 31 2021, buyers will pay no stamp duty on the first £500,000 of their purchase when they move home.

Housebuilders welcomed the policy change, which could save buyers up to £15,000.

Greg Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of Vistry Group said: “Today’s announcement on stamp duty is hugely welcome and the timing could not be better.

“The sector, like many across the economy, has faced significant challenges in the last few months and we believe this initiative will give customers the extra confidence needed to take the exciting step of owning a home or moving up the property ladder.

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“We have seen that interest from potential buyers has been encouragingly strong and robust week-on-week since the lockdown started to ease, and we believe this move on stamp duty will go a long way towards reinvigorating the market.”

Stamp duty applies in England and Northern Ireland and people usually pay the tax on homes priced above £125,000. Some stamp duty discounts were already in place for first-time buyers.

Matthew Pratt, chief executive at Redrow, said: “The measures will have a much-needed domino effect, also supporting suppliers, sub-contractors and consultants to the housebuilding industry, as well as boosting businesses supplying goods and services related to moving home such as furnishings, white goods and many others.

“The immediate implementation of these measures is positive, as waiting risked the market grinding to a halt.

“Now we can be confident the measures will get people moving, spending and contributing to the country’s economic recovery.”

Ed Monaghan, chief executive officer of Glasgow-based Mactaggart & Mickel Group, said: “We welcome the Chancellor’s recognition of the vital role that housebuilding and construction play in sustaining the economy.

“We are ready to support the Government’s aim to build a better, more sustainable future.

“Measures like the stamp duty cut will be a significant boost for the housing market in England. We hope these measures will be matched in Scotland.”

Shares in housebuilders and estate agency firms moved higher in trading on Wednesday amid optimism over the plans.

Estate agency Savills saw shares move 3.4% higher, while housebuilder Persimmon saw shares increase by 2.4% after the announcement.

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