New research, from property experts Zoopla, has revealed 59 per cent of all UK properties for sale over the last year were exempt from paying any type of transactional tax for first-time buyers.
That’s almost 60 per cent of all homes for sale where first-time buyers are not being stung by the dreaded Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).
‘The various first-time buyer tax reliefs across Great Britain have helped put more than 59 per cent of homes firmly in the ‘Stamp Duty-free’ zone – or its country equivalent,’ says Laura Howard, spokesperson for Zoopla.
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‘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.’
By analysing listings across the last 12 months, comparing listing prices to the tax thresholds across England, Scotland and Wales, Zoopla has uncovered where first-time buyers are least and most likely to pay tax.
A staggering 99.6 per cent of all properties being priced under the SDLT threshold, the towns of Bootle in Merseyside and Shildon in County Durham top the list of places where first-time buyers are least likely to pay Stamp Duty.
In third place is Heckmondwike in West Yorkshire with 99.2 percent of the market. While Blyth in Northumberland where 99 percent of homes don’t require first-time buyers to pay Stamp Duty, comes in fourth.
At the other end of the scale, Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire has the fewest amount of properties suitable for first-time buyers to avoid paying Stamp Duty. Just 1.7 per cent of homes in the town were priced under the tax threshold.
The highly desirable village of Ingatestone, in Essex, comes in second place with only 2.0 per cet, and Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire is in third with 3.4 per cent.
Laura adds, ‘It’s important to remember that the Government sets down a strict definition of ‘first-time buyer’. If you, or anyone you are buying with, have ever owned a property, or even part of one, previously, either in the UK or abroad – you will not qualify for the tax break.’
‘While first-time buyers are now not treated differently in Wales in terms of Stamp Duty. Lower property prices there mean that 56 per cent of homes respectively are also exempt. Still a welcome reality.’
Is this welcome news for your purchasing journey?