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Almost a third of first-time buyers confused about stamp duty changes

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Written by: Antonia Di Lorenzo
08/08/2018
Many first-time buyers won't have to pay the tax but they are unclear on what it means for their overall budget
Almost a third of first-time buyers confused about stamp duty changes

Almost a third of first-time buyers are confused about the impact of recent changes to stamp duty, data showed.

A fifth of first-time buyers have not changed their minds on the price of the house they want to buy, as they do not know the impact of new stamp duty rules, according to research conducted by L&C Mortgages.

Almost 13% of first-time buyers wrongly think they could save more than £5,000 buying their first home without having to pay stamp duty.

On top of this, almost two in five said that they did not know how much they would save if they bought their first home now.

Almost two in five think the value of the properties excluded from stamp duty should rise in line with house prices, highlighting a belief that the current measures won’t go far enough, and will need to be kept under close review.

David Hollingworth, from L&C, said that more needs to be done in order to ensure that first-time buyers know what is available to them.

He said: “The stamp duty relief is welcomed by many who are looking to buy their first home, but the new rules could be considered complicated to someone who hasn’t been through the process of purchasing property before.

“In fact, the lack of understanding uncovered through our research could mean that some first-time buyers think that owning their own home is one step further away than it actually is – when in reality, a saving of up to £5,000 could be the difference in getting the required deposit together, or dropping to a lower LTV bracket.

“The number of first-time buyers who believe that the tax should be abolished for all those buying their first home, speaks of the need for clarity.

“Of course abolishing stamp duty for all would mean financial savings for many, but it also highlights the desire for a more simple and transparent system. Going through the steps to buy your first home can feel like a daunting and complicated undertaking – so it’s really important you seek expert advice in order to make sure you are getting the best deal, and that you are aware of all your options.”

Just over half think they will benefit from the stamp duty abolition when they buy their first home.

Of those aiming to buy a property priced between £125,000 and £500,000, two in five either thought that stamp duty relief would not benefit them, or did not know if it would – demonstrating a further lack of knowledge about the new rules.

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