The removal of the threshold is likely to further deter many first-time buyers from entering the housing market, which would be an additional blow to the already fragile market.
Nationwide is committed to helping first-time buyers. In the last six months alone, the Society has launched ‘Save to Buy’, a savings account aimed at first-time buyers, which gives them access to a range of 95% LTV mortgages and an impartial, award winning First-Time Buyers Guide which is available online and can be downloaded to a pc, tablet or smart phone.
At the same time the Society has recently opened up its 90% LTV mortgages to all homebuyers.
As well as maintaining the threshold for first-time buyers, Nationwide is also calling on the Government to increase the annual cash ISA limit to £10,680 in line with the equity ISA limit in order to offer a low risk tax-free option for borrowers saving up a deposit.
Graham Beale, Nationwide chief executive, said: “Nationwide recognises the importance of first-time buyers to a buoyant housing market.
“At a time when the Government is taking significant steps to help the housing market, such as the launch of the New Build Indemnity Scheme, it would be a step back if they removed the concession on stamp duty for first-time buyers.
“The Chancellor should delay removing this concession until the mortgage market has further stabilised.
“We have continued to support this sector by lending £1.2bn to 10,000 first-time buyers in the last six months, while helping potential borrowers in getting a deposit through our ‘Save to Buy’ account.
“The Government should go even further by increasing the cash ISA limit to help those saving for a deposit”.
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