Mortgage experts are warning that the Tory plan to abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers on homes costing up to 250,000 faces a fundamental problem of defining who is a first-time buyer.
John Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger says that although the broad basis is spot-on, the detail of the proposals is not.
He says: “The problem that the Tories have is identifying exactly who is a first-time buyer. The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that around 80 per cent of their first-time buyer statistics are first-time buyers so 20 per cent are not.”
He says the Tories would have to have very strict rules on who is an FTB and he questions who will police this.
Boulger says it would be much better simply to put up the stamp duty limit for everyone. He says: “The Tories should also look at tiering stamp duty like income tax. The whole system needs revising. Perhaps the next tranche should have a 1 per cent levy and it should increase gradually with each next tranche.”
The Tories say its plan could mean a potential saving of up to 2,500 for young couples and that nine out of 10 would-be homeowners would not pay the levy.