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A flagship policy to help British millennials buy a house is having almost no impact

Thomas Colson
Houses in Camden

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  • The government's flagship policy to help millennials buy homes is having almost no impact.
  • The survey found that 86% of respondents reported no response from first-time buyers following changes to Stamp Duty  introduced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in November.

LONDON — The government's flagship policy to help millennials buy homes is having almost no impact, according to a monthly survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

The survey found that 86% of respondents reported no response from first-time buyers following changes to Stamp Duty, the purchase tax levied on new homes, that were introduced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in November.

In a bid to improve the Conservatives standing among younger voters, Hammond abolished stamp duty for all first-time homebuyers on properties under £300,000, many of whom are struggling to get onto the housing ladder after decades of runaway house price growth.

But RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said initial feedback suggested the changes had made no initial difference to prices, and echoed warnings from the government's own statistics watchdog that the changes could push prices up.

"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.

"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," Rubinsohn said.

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