State urged to support first time buyers

Tim Wallace
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GIVING support to first time buyers (FTBs) would ease the pressure on the hardest hit sector in the housing market and give a strong boost to the industry, economists from the Ernst and Young Item Club argue today.

The respected analysts are calling on George Osborne to reinstate the stamp duty holiday for FTBs on houses under £250,000, a programme which expired in March.

Alternatively the report suggests expanding the First Buy home equity scheme, again giving FTBs a better chance of getting on the ladder.

“There is a clear case for helping FTBs – they have been hit hardest by the tightening of credit conditions and a lack of FTBs tends to cause the whole of the housing market to freeze up by making it harder to put chains together,” read the report.

“An easy and relatively cheap solution would be to reinstate the stamp duty holiday or, ideally, abolish it altogether for FTBs.”