First-time home buyers save £284m because of stamp duty cut

More than 120,000 first-time home buyers have saved a total of £284m because of the cuts to stamp duty introduced last November, according to government figures.

The first £300,000 of the price of a property is now exempt from tax for people entering the housing market for the first time.

It means that the new stamp duty cost for first-time buyers is:

  • properties up £300k, no stamp duty
  • properties between £300k and £500k – 5% on the part above £300k
  • properties over £500k – no entitlement to relief.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said the changes mean that 95% of first time buyers now enjoy a reduction in stamp duty, providing them with a saving of up to £5,000, depending on the purchase price.

Michael McCarthy, Developer at Equitas Properties said: “46% of our new home buyers benefited from the recently introduced stamp duty reduction. This policy allowed these new home buyers reduced acquisition costs while increasing options, choice and purchasing power.”

However, some experts have questioned the benefit of the cuts.

Analysts at AJ Bell told the BBC that the average Stamp Duty charge in the north is just £11.82 and so the benefit of the new relief falls disproportionately in the south, where property prices are much higher.

The government claims that over the next five years, its housing policies will help over 1 million people getting on to the housing ladder.

It says that in addition to government-backed schemes such as the Help to Buy equity loan and Help to Buy ISA, those hoping to make their money go further can open a Lifetime ISA – to either save for a first home, or for later in life.

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