Three-quarters of first-time buyers benefit from Stamp Duty relief
Three out of every four first-time buyers in England have benefitted from the changes to stamp duty brought in a year ago, according to reallymoving.com.
Last November the Government scrapped stamp duty for first-time buyers on properties up to the value of £300,000, while those spending up to £500,000 now pay no stamp duty on the first £300,000 and 5% on the remaining amount.
Earlier this month, HMRC reported that 58,800 first-time buyers claimed first-time buyer relief (FTBR) in the third quarter of this year, taking the total number of users during the period of November 2017 to November 2018 to 180,500, saving £426m between them.
Who has saved most?
The amount of money saved by homebuyers up and down the country varies massively. Those in London and the South East have reaped far greater savings than those in the North and Midlands, where lower house prices mean the changes have had less of an impact.
In areas of lower house prices, a large proportion of buyers already fell below the previous stamp duty threshold of £125,000.
In the South East, 93% of first-time buyers have made savings, compared to 39% in the North East.
Of the total amount saved in stamp duty between November 2017 and November 2018, first-time buyers in London have enjoyed a 28% share, worth approximately £119m, followed by the South East at 25% (£106m) and the East at 14% (£62m).
First-time buyers in the North East enjoyed just 1% of the savings, worth £5m.
Rob Houghton, CEO of reallymoving.com, said: “The Government’s stamp duty giveaway for first-time buyers has had little effect in the northern regions, with the impact broadly increasing the further south you go.
“The Government recognised the impact of regional house price variations when it introduced Help to Buy regional caps in the recent Budget, yet stamp duty continues to be applied nationally, remaining a major barrier to thousands who are buying in higher value locations.
“Consequently, first-time buyers in the south of England still have some serious saving to do to cover the upfront costs of buying their first home, but the majority are paying less than they did under the old system. Alongside other schemes such as Help to Buy ISAs and shared ownership, 2018 has been a great year to get on the housing ladder.”