UK house builder calls for stamp duty change

Taylor Scott International News

The chairman of one of the UK's largest housebuilders has called for stamp duty and Help to Buy changes to drive the housing market forward and keep the economy growing. Redrow founder and chairman Steve Morgan was speaking at the launch of Woodford Garden Village, one of the largest brownfield redevelopments in the North West, where local community groups, politicians and industry professionals had gathered to help Redrow celebrate its opening. During the day he highlighted how housing transactions have gone down as stamp duty has gone up and the tax was affecting people's mobility. ‘Stamp duty has a huge impact on the market. Not only do buyers have to raise huge deposits, they then have to find thousands more in stamp duty. The last two increases have been very damaging, particularly to the London market,’ he said. He also called for the Government to extend the time limit from application to completion on Help to Buy equity loans to 12 months from the current six months. He said this would enable first time buyers to reserve a new build house farther in advance of its completion when using the incentive, allowing them to compete with investors who are free to reserve at an earlier stage. Overall though the Redrow chairman was positive about the housing market, and saw the current climate as a good time for house builders, with land finally coming through the planning system, albeit still too slowly for his liking, and for customers, with mortgage interest costs remaining low. He pointed out that the Woodford Garden Village development, on the former Woodford Aerodrome site, near Stockport, in Greater Manchester, is the first garden village site for over 100 years in the north west of England and one of the first of a new generation of garden villages with Redrow leading the way. ‘It's important that we're creating sustainable new communities that have longevity and Woodford Garden Village is a prime example of that. It will be a self-sustaining development with a new primary school, shops, a village pub and doctor's surgery to name but a few of its amenities,’ he explained. ‘It's also perfectly located for commuters, close to Manchester Airport and, importantly, it's a brownfield redevelopment, so it's bringing a redundant industrial site back into good use in a fantastic rural location,’ he added. He thanked officers and politicians of Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council for their positive role in bringing the scheme to fruition. Taylor Scott International

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