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Home Ownership: Support

Volume 677: debated on Monday 15 June 2020

First Homes, our new flagship home ownership programme, will discount homes by at least 30% for local people and first-time buyers, reducing income and deposit requirements. We recently closed our consultation on First Homes, and we will publish our response very soon. This will add to other Government-backed schemes, including Help to Buy, which have supported over 627,000 households since 2010.

Around this time last year, a friend of mine purchased a property as a first-time buyer. On a purchase price of £275,000, he paid £3,700 in land transaction tax, which is the Welsh equivalent of stamp duty. Had he completed his purchase just eight miles away, across the border in England, he would not have paid any stamp duty at all. I commend my right hon. Friend, along with the Treasury, for this policy to assist first-time buyers, but will he join me in calling on the Welsh Government to raise the threshold for first-time buyers to £300,000 to mirror England so that young people are not incentivised to move out of my beautiful constituency?

My hon. Friend is right; Delyn is a beautiful constituency. He is also right to point out that stamp duty or land transaction tax in Wales is a devolved matter. The Welsh Government are not particularly successful at building houses, including social homes. I think they have built fewer than 140 in the last five years, so the message to the Welsh Government is: could do a little better. But I am pleased to tell my hon. Friend that in England, stamp duty relief means that 80% of first-time buyers will pay no stamp duty at all, and cuts the price for 95% of those who do pay the tax. This relief has benefited over 500,000 people since its introduction three years ago.