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  1. A first-time buyer in Chelmsford?

    If you are a first-time buyer looking for property in Chelmsford you will be delighted the chancellor has recently announced a cut to stamp duty for first-time buyers of shared-ownership homes worth up to £500,000. As well as bringing the measure in to play he announced in the budget that it will be retrospective, meaning anyone who bought a house since the last Budget (22 November 2017) will benefit.

    The chancellor extended the stamp duty exemption on first home purchases up to £500,000 where the property is part of a shared ownership programme, the previous tax-free threshold was £300,000. It is part of a range of measures to address the housing shortage, he also announced £2 billion of new funding for the Affordable Homes Programme, £1 billion of British Business Bank guarantees to support smaller house builders, and an extra £500 million for the Housing Infrastructure Fund, to improve the infrastructure to enable new sites to be used for housing.

    Philip Hammond also said that a new Help to Buy equity loan would be launched in April 2021 and would run for two years available only for first-time buyers and for properties with a market value up to a new regional property price cap. And he announced a £8.5 million fund will be made available to enable more local people to buy homes in their area at affordable prices.

    Elsewhere, the Budget also introduced restrictions on the tax relief for people who rent out a property, which was their main home at some point. There is never any capital gains tax (CGT) paid by homeowners when they sell their own home (their main residence) and until now there was some relief on the tax for people renting out a home that had once been their main residence. But from April 2020 they will only qualify for the relief if they were in shared occupancy with the tenant.