UK first-time buyers benefit from stamp duty tax cuts

According to the latest figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), over 180,000 first-time buyers have profited from the stamp duty relief scheme that was introduced in November 2017.

Figures indicated that more than 75 per cent of first-time buyers benefitted from the changes to the stamp duty thresholds.

But measures were far more valuable to purchasers in London and South England compared to the North and the Midlands, where lower house prices meant the change had less of an impact.

Just over a year ago, the Government removed stamp duty for first-time buyers on properties up to the value of £300,000, while those spending up to £500,000 now pay no stamp duty on the first £300,000 and five per cent on the remaining amount.

After the introduction of the new rules, three-quarters of first-time buyers in England have benefited by paying no stamp duty at all or by paying less than they would have originally paid in the old system.

HMRC revealed that 180,500 first-time buyers have claimed first-time buyer relief since the scheme started in the November 2017, saving £426 million in total.

In the South East of England 93 per cent of first-time buyers have made savings, compared to just 39 per cent in the North East of England.

Of the total amount saved in stamp duty tax in the first year of the relief, first-time buyers in London have had a 28 per cent share, worth approximately £119 million, followed by the South East at 25 per cent (£106 million) and the East at 14 per cent (£62 million). Meanwhile, first-time buyers in the North East enjoyed just one per cent of the savings, worth £5 million.

Rob Houghton, Chief Executive of reallymoving, says: “The Government’s stamp duty giveaway for first-time buyers has had little effect in the northern regions, with the impact broadly increasing the further south you go.

“The Government recognised the impact of regional house price variations when it introduced Help to Buy regional caps in the recent Budget, yet stamp duty continues to be applied nationally, remaining a major barrier to thousands who are buying in higher value locations.”

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