Zoopla reveals almost 60% of UK properties are stamp duty exempt for first-time buyers

Good news for buyers trying to get onto the ladder

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.

From the man in the know: Martin Lewis has an urgent warning for wannabe first-time buyers

'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.'

bricked house exterior with white windows and front yard garden

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

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.

memo calendar with flower pots and books

(Image credit: Future PLC/Alun Callender)

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.'

Related: Calling all first time buyers! You can now pay for someone to find your first home for you

Is this welcome news for your purchasing journey?


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.