A Derby mortgage expert has welcomed the Chancellor Philip Hammond’s decision to abolish stamp duty on homes worth up to £300,000 for first-time buyers. Mr Hammond said this decision would mean 80% of first-time buyers will pay no stamp duty.

Matt Cassar, managing director of Finance Advice Centre, based in Raynesway, Derby, said that Mr Hammond’s announcement in today’s Budget would be welcomed by the UK’s housing industry. It could stimulate growth by making getting it easier for first-time buyers to get onto the ladder.

First-time buyers make up nearly half of all purchasers. However, they have found it increasingly difficult to buy homes because of spiralling costs and affordability criteria. Abolishing stamp duty would save buyers £5,000 on a £300,000 purchase, which Mr Cassar says will be welcomed across the board.

He said: “I think this is great news for the whole housing sector. It will stimulate growth in the industry and give thousands of people a leg-up when it comes to buying their first home.

“Getting on the property ladder is always a struggle for first-time buyers because of the need to save up their deposit. So anything that makes a property more affordable is going to be beneficial for them. It is also going to be welcomed by sellers and estate agents because anyone with a house valued in the £300,000-or-below bracket will now have more potential buyers looking at their property.”

Former Derbyshire cricketer Matt founded Finance Advice Centre in 2014. It employs around 50 people at its base, in Raynesway. It serves customers all over the UK and recently entered into a broker partnership with the Secure Trust bank’s new mortgages division.