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Shares in British housebuilders whipsawed as the chancellor outlined a series of new measures to fix the UK’s “broken housing market” in his first Autumn budget, including a slash to stamp duty for first-time buyers.
Philip Hammond promised a total of £44bn of support over the next five years through capital funding, loans and guarantees, including money to support smaller house builders and £28m to tackle homelessness.
The FTSE 350 household goods index – which contrary to its name is composed mainly of housebuilders – briefly dropped as much as 0.5 per cent after the chancellor announced an “urgent review” into the practice of not building on land where planning permission for new housing has been granted.
However, it rebounded sharply when Philip Hammond said stamp duty will be immediately abolished for first-time buyers on all properties worth up to £300,000. First-time buyers will also pay no duty on the first £300,000 of properties worth up to £500,000.
The stamp duty rise pushed the index back to a daily rise of as much as 1.5 per cent. At publication time it was up 0.75 per cent.
Other measures announced included new powers for the housing regulator – the Homes and Communities Agency, while local authorities have been given powers to increase council tax on empty homes.
Some local authorities will also have borrowing caps lifted, allowing them greater freedom to borrow to invest in homes.