Published On: Thu, Oct 10th, 2019

Stamp Duty Land Tax UK: Towns first-time buyers are least likely to pay SDLT | Personal Finance | Finance

The amount of Stamp Duty Land Tax that is required to be paid will depend on the band the property price comes under. Other factors may include whether the buyer has purchased a home before – as first-time buyers may be able to claim relief for their first home. This discount means that the eligible buyers do not pay tax up to £300,000, and then five per cent on any portion from £300,001 to £500,000. Should the price exceed £500,000, then the first-time buyers would need to follow the rules for people who have bought a home before.

For buyers who have purchased property before, the current SDLT threshold for residential properties is £125,000.

According to research by Zoopla, almost six in 10 homes in Great Britain are exempt from Stamp Duty if they are bought by first-time buyers.

The research found that 59 per cent of all properties listed for sale during the past year had asking prices below the threshold at which SDLT or its equivalent kicks in.

Laura Howard, consumer expert at Zoopla, said: “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’s equivalent.

“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.

“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.”

So, in which towns do first-time buyers find themselves least likely to have to pay the tax?

According to Zoopla, between September 2018 and 2019, Bootle in Merseyside and Shildon in County Durham topped the list, with buyers purchasing property for the first time being the least likely to pay the tax.

In these towns, 99.6 per cent of properties for sale were priced under the first-time buyer threshold, Zoopla said.

Heckmondwike in West Yorkshire followed the two towns at 99.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, research found that 99 per cent of houses for sale are priced under the first-time buyer threshold in Blyth in Northumberland and Gateshead in Tyne and Wear.

At the other end of the spectrum, Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire was found to have the fewest number of properties where first-time buyers are exempt from paying the tax.

In this town just 1.7 per cent of homes available were priced under the tax threshold for first-time buyers.

Ingatestone in Essex followed in second place at 2.0 per cent, while Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire took third (3.4 per cent).

Zoopla also ranked the London Boroughs, finding Croydon come in top with 26.8 per cent below the £300,000 threshold for first-time buyers.

READ MORE: What Stamp Duty do you pay on a house? Why amount may rise if there’s a house sale delay

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Stamp Duty Land Tax UK: Towns first-time buyers are least likely to pay SDLT | Personal Finance | Finance