UK budget 2017: Shares in estate agents rise on stamp duty changes

Joanna Bourke
Budget 2017: Stamp duty has been scrapped for first time buyers of properties below £300,000: AFP/Getty Images

The chancellor on Wednesday unveiled a bumper package of measures to try and boost housebuilding and homes sales, sending shares in estate agency firms higher.

In the Budget Philip Hammond revealed stamp duty will be abolished for first-time buyers of homes worth up to £300,000. For homes worth up to £500,000 there will be no stamp duty on the first £300,000 spent.

Following the update shares in Foxtons rose 4.25p to 72p, shares in Countrywide gained 3.5p to 114.5p, and Savills rose 1p to 948p.

He also pledged £1.5 billion to get SME housebuilders building again. An urgent review into the difference between the number of homes built and the instances of planning permission granted, will also be launched.

In total the government committed to £44 billion for housing through capital funding, loans and guarantees.

Estate agents largely welcomed the stamp duty update. But some experts pointed out that it would have less of an impact on sales in the capital.

Alex Gosling, the boss of online estate agent HouseSimple, said "London is still a problem area, with our research showing that less than a third of homes are on the market currently at under £500,000, and will benefit from the stamp duty exemption for first-time buyers.”