The UK stamp duty-exempt for first-time buyers


Almost six-in-10 homes in Great Britain are exempt from stamp duty if they are bought by first-time buyers.

Our research has found that 59% of all properties listed for sale during the past year came with asking prices that were below the threshold at which stamp duty, or its equivalent, kicks in.

Laura Howard, our consumer expert, said: “The various first-time buyer tax reliefs across Great Britain have helped put more than 59% of homes firmly in the stamp duty-free zone – or its country’s equivalent.

“Buying your first home is usually the most costly thing you’ll ever do, so the maximum £5,000 saving made possible with this tax relief is welcome; after all it could cover your survey and legal costs.”

Why is this happening?

In a bid to help people buy their first home, the government announced in 2017 that first-time buyers in England purchasing a property for up to £300,000 would be exempt from stamp duty.

Homes costing up to £500,000 would only charge the portion of the property’s value above the £300,000 threshold.

However, first-time buyers who purchase a home for more than £500,000 do not qualify for any discount at all.

Scotland has a similar system, with first-time buyers exempt from paying Land and Buildings Transaction Tax up to a £175,000 threshold, while in Wales the Land Transaction Tax does not apply to any buyer spending up to £180,000 on a home.

Where are first-time buyers least likely to pay stamp duty?

The towns of Bootle in Merseyside and Shildon in County Durham topped the list as the places in which first-time buyers were least likely to have to pay stamp duty with 99.6% of properties for sale here priced under the threshold.

They were followed by Heckmondwike in West Yorkshire at 99.2%, and Blyth in Northumberland and Gateshead in Tyne and Wear, both at 99%.

On a country basis, Scotland had the highest proportion of properties on which first-time buyers would not be liable for tax at 61%, compared with 58% for England and 56% for Wales.



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