New Proposals Highlight Housing Is ‘A Key Election Battleground’

Labour Reveals Stamp Duty Exemption Plans


Specialist lawyers have described new proposals from Labour for first-time buyers to be exempt from stamp duty when buying homes under £300,000 as another example of how housing continues to be a key battleground in the run-up to the General Election.

Ed Miliband has announced the measure as part of plans to prevent home ownership from being “out of reach for so many people in our country”.

According to Labour, the move would apply to the first three years of its Government and would cost in the region of £225 million.

It is thought this will be funded through a range of measures including increasing tax rates for foreign property investors.

At present, stamp duty is charged on a sliding scale, with buyers not paying any on the first £125,000 of a property’s value, with the percentage charged then increasing from that point.

All of the main parties have put forward major housing plans, with the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats also putting forward plans to increase housebuilding and boost ownership.

Expert Opinion
"Housing and property has undoubtedly become a key talking point in the election for all of the parties involved.

"While the proposed stamp duty exemption is likely to be popular with the first-time buyers that it affects, this is just one proposal out of many put forward by parties which is designed to address the needs of those looking to take a step onto the property market.

"All of the major parties have significant housebuilding plans and intend to boost support for first-time buyers. For example, the Conservatives are planning Help to Buy ISAs to help them get a deposit for a house, as well as planning 200,000 homes for first-time buyers under 40.

"With all of this in mind, it would appear that – regardless of who gains power on May 7th – there is likely to be new support made available to those seeking to buy their first home."
Gillian Coverley, Partner