Six in 10 homes ‘exempt from stamp duty for first-time buyers’

October 9, 2019 11:01:00 PM

Nearly six in 10 homes for sale across Britain would be exempt from stamp duty or its equivalent tax for first-time buyers, analysis has found.

Zoopla, which analysed property listing data over the past year, found that 59% of homes for sale were under the threshold for taxes on transactions for first-time buyers.

In England, home buyers may be liable for stamp duty when they buy a home, while in Scotland the equivalent charge on property purchases is the land and buildings transaction tax and in Wales it is the land transaction tax.

The rules around the property price thresholds at which the taxes start to apply on transactions and any special concessions for first-time buyers vary between countries.

Zoopla found that, comparing the three countries, Scotland has the highest percentage of homes that would be exempt from its tax if first-time buyers purchased the property, at 61%, compared with 58% in England and 56% in Wales.

Zoopla also looked at the places where, excluding London, first-time buyers would be most and least likely to pay stamp duty or its equivalent.

With just under 100% (99.6%) of all properties being priced under the SDLT threshold, the towns of Bootle in Merseyside and Shildon in County Durham topped the list of places where first-time buyers are least likely to pay any Stamp Duty.

Heckmondwike in West Yorkshire (99.2%) was third, while Blyth in Northumberland, where 99% of homes did not require first-time buyers to pay stamp duty, was equal fourth place with Gateshead.

At the other end of the spectrum, only 1.7% of homes in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire were priced under the tax threshold, as were just 2.0% in Ingatestone in Essex is in second place and 3.4% in Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire.

Zoopla spokeswoman Laura Howard said: “The various first-time buyer tax reliefs across Great Britain have helped put more than 59% of homes firmly in the ‘stamp duty-free’ zone – or its country equivalent.”

Here are the places with the highest proportions of homes which would be exempt from stamp duty for first-time buyers, followed by the percentages which would be exempt, according to Zoopla:

=1. Bootle, 99.6%
=1. Shildon, 99.6%
3. Heckmondwike, 99.2%
=4. Blyth, 99.0%
=4. Gateshead, 99.0%
6. Stanley, 98.9%
7. Fleetwood, 98.7%
8. Peterlee, 98.6%
9. Mexborough, 98.5%
10. Jarrow, 98.3%

Here are the places with the lowest proportions of homes which would be exempt from stamp duty or its equivalent tax for first-time buyers, followed by the percentages which would be exempt, according to Zoopla:

1. Beaconsfield, 1.7%
2. Ingatestone, 2.0%
3. Chalfont St Giles, 3.4%
4. Radlett, 3.8%
5. Thames Ditton, 4.6%
6. Harpenden, 4.9%
7. Teddington, 5.0%
8. Virginia Water, 5.3%
9. Usk, 5.8%
10. Windlesham, 6.8%

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