The housing market has long been seen as a crucial element in stimulating the British economy. For this reason various incentives had been introduced to encourage people to buy properties. (Click here for a PowerPoint of the chart.)
One such strategy was the stamp duty holiday. Stamp Duty Land Tax is paid by the purchaser of a property against a purchase price and the cost of it will rise through each price band. The stamp duty holiday meant that first-time buyers were free from the 1% stamp duty on homes that cost under £250,000. However, this holiday is due to end from March 2012, as according to the government, the holiday has been ineffective. Indeed, in the Autumn statement documents, the government said:
‘The government is publishing analysis showing that the stamp duty land tax relief for first-time buyers has been ineffective in increasing the number of first time buyers entering the market.’
The government has said that instead it will focus on other strategies that provide better value for money. Such schemes include a mortgage guarantee scheme and the FirstBuy scheme launched last year, both of which aim to help those struggling to finance the purchase of their first properties.
According to the Land Registry, property prices have fallen by over 1% over the past year, so fewer properties will face the stamp duty land tax, but this data does little to instill confidence in the housing market being the stimulus that the economy needs. By stimulating the housing market, construction jobs should be created and this in turn should create a much needed multiplier effect helping to boost other sectors within the economy. The following articles consider this latest development.
Stamp duty rush boosts January valuations Mortgage Strategy, Tessa Norman (11/2/12)
New deals for buyers as stamp duty holiday ends BBC News, Susannah Streeter (11/2/12)
Autumn Statement: Stamp duty concession to end BBC News (29/11/11)
First-time buyers boost mortgage market activity FT Adviser, Michael Trudeau (9/2/12)
When shared ownership turns sour Guardian, Rupert Jones (10/2/12)
- Why does the housing market play such a crucial role in the economy?
- What is the multiplier effect? How will new jobs in the construction industry help other sectors in the economy?
- Why has the stamp duty holiday been ‘ineffective’ in stimulating the housing market?
- How have the other schemes introduced by the government created incentives in the housing market?
- Why have January valuations improved? Use a demand and supply diagram to illustrate your explanation.