69,000 first time buyers have benefited from Stamp Duty relief

1st June 2018  |  12:00am

69,000 first time buyers have benefited from Stamp Duty relief

On Thursday 26 April 2018, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mel Stride, made a statement in the House of Commons explaining that as of 31 March 2018, 69,000 first-time buyers had benefited from Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) changes introduced last year, designed to help first-time buyers.

First time buyers’ relief was introduced on Budget day, 22 November 2017. and applies to purchases of dwellings for £500,000 or less, provided the purchaser has never owned a property and intends to occupy the property as their only or main residence. Under the relief, transactions valued at valued at £300,000 or less are not liable. Transactions valued at more than £300,000 but less than £500,000 are liable to pay five per cent SDLT on the portion over £300,000.

From 22 November 2017 to 31 March 2018 the total amount of SDLT relieved was estimated at £159 million; half of which (49 per cent) was seen in London and the South East. 19 per cent of all residential transactions claimed first time buyers’ relief.

In our submission to The Treasury ahead of the Autumn Budget last year, NAEA Propertymark called on the Government to exempt First-Time Buyers from paying Stamp Duty to encourage more people into home ownership. 

Commenting, Mark Hayward Chief Executive NAEA Propertymark, said:

“This is really welcome news; FTBs have traditionally been the most vulnerable buyers operating in the market, but today’s figures indicate that the stamp duty relief is starting to make an impact.  

“From December 2017 to March this year, sales to the group were up to 29 per cent on average, compared to 27 per cent for the same period the year before. While this is indeed an upward swing, sales haven’t rocketed. This could be because FTBs are now thought to be holding off on making purchases – typically outside of London – opting instead to save for longer to maximise the full stamp duty relief. The other reason is that the cost of buying is still very high, and FTBs are still finding it difficult to save for their deposit.

“As the cost of living continues to rise – with consumer price inflation standing at 2.3 per cet in March – we still have a long way to go to make the dream of owning a home accessible to all, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.”

Source: NAEA