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Just 387 London homes exempt from Stamp Duty for first-time buyers

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22/01/2018
Just 387 London homes exempt from Stamp Duty for first-time buyers

On the face of it, first-time buyers may have been one of the biggest beneficiaries from the last Budget, with the scrapping of Stamp Duty for the vast majority, but in London many won’t feel the benefit.

That’s because house prices in the capital are so expensive that, even with the generous tax giveaway, most first-timers are still liable for Stamp Duty.

According to analysis by online estate agents HouseSimple.com, there are just 387 properties currently for sale at £300,000 or less in London Travel Zones 1 and 2, that would therefore be Stamp Duty exempt for first-time buyers.

Even if you extended the search area to include Travel Zone 3, the number of Stamp Duty exempt properties increases to just 1,235.

Not surprisingly, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has the fewest Stamp Duty exempt properties, with just six, including a tiny 113 square foot studio flat, in SW5, Earls Court. The boroughs of Camden and City of Westminster, both have just 18 Stamp Duty exempt properties currently on the market.

Greater availability

Croydon, in travel zone 5-6, has the largest number of Stamp Duty exempt properties on the market today. Croydon has 795 properties at £300k or less, more than double the number in any other London borough.

Most first-time buyers will still have to pay Stamp Duty if they’re hoping to buy in inner London, although many will see a discount. There are 4,490 properties in Zone 1-2, and 7,687 properties in Zone 1-3, that are currently on the market at between £300,001 and £500,000, and would therefore be eligible for a £5,000 Stamp Duty cut.

Sam Mitchell, CEO of HouseSimple.com, said: “The Chancellor wheeled out his big tax break offering last Autumn to help first-time buyers and attract young voters. Unfortunately for the young London buyer, the stamp duty cut, while beneficial to large swathes of the country, won’t make much of a dent in their house buying budget.

“Even a Stamp Duty saving of £5,000 on properties up to £500,000, which is not something to be sniffed at, won’t be much help if first-time buyers don’t have the funds in the first place to put down substantial deposits needed to buy even a basic starter home in Inner London.

“London is seeing an exodus of young professionals, who would prefer to move to more affordable areas of the country, than buy in outer London, and face long commutes every day.”

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