Almost 70,000 First Time Buyers have Benefitted from Stamp Duty Relief
By |Published On: 27th April 2018|

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Almost 70,000 First Time Buyers have Benefitted from Stamp Duty Relief

By |Published On: 27th April 2018|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

A total of 69,000 first time buyers have benefitted from the Government’s Stamp Duty relief for this type of purchaser, according to new figures published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The total value of these savings was £159m, with almost half of the Stamp Duty relief being granted on home purchases in London and the South East of England.

HMRC claims that these figures are “broadly in line” with the Chancellor’s projections, which were announced in last year’s Autumn Budget, along with details of the relief.

The average first time buyer saved £2,300 on the purchase of their home. Not surprisingly, the greatest savings were experienced in London, with first time buyers in the capital saving an average of £4,300.

Northern Ireland had the lowest average saving, of £800.

Almost 70,000 First Time Buyers have Benefitted from Stamp Duty Relief

Almost 70,000 First Time Buyers have Benefitted from Stamp Duty Relief

In total, 19% of all first time buyer transactions were in the South East, while 13% were in London.

The majority of these first time buyer purchases were for properties priced under £300,000. However, in London, four out of ten first time buyers (42%) using the Stamp Duty relief were purchasing properties priced between £300,000-£500,000.

This is the first time that HMRC has included this information in its quarterly Stamp Duty report. These figures, however, cover the period from 22nd November 2017 until the end of March 2018 – when the change was introduced.

The Chancellor brought in the Stamp Duty relief for the majority of first time buyers purchasing properties up to the value of £300,000. For those buying homes worth up to £500,000, a reduced rate will apply.

HMRC’s data shows that there was a slowdown in housing transactions in the first quarter (Q1) of the year.

Quarterly sales fell from 333,500 in Q4 2017 to 267,000 in Q1 2018, a decline of 20%.

Residential transactions fell by 21%, to 238,000 from the previous quarter.

HMRC says that the seasonal nature of the housing market means that Q1 figures typically have the fewest transactions. However, it pointed out that this is still the largest quarterly decrease since 2014/15.

Standard rate transactions fell across all price bands, as did additional property sales, on which the higher Stamp Duty rate is applied.

Mark Hayward, the Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark (the National Association of Estate Agents), comments on the announcement: “This is really welcome news; first time buyers have traditionally been the most vulnerable buyers operating in the market, but today’s figures indicate that the Stamp Duty relief is starting to make an impact.

“From December 2017 to March this year, sales to the group were up to 29% on average, compared to 27% for the same period the year before. While this is indeed an upward swing, sales haven’t rocketed. This could be because first time buyers are now thought to be holding off on making purchases – typically outside of London – opting instead to save for longer to maximise the full Stamp Duty relief.”

He continues: “The other reason is that the cost of buying is still very high, and first time buyers are still finding it difficult to save for their deposit. As the cost of living continues to rise – with consumer price inflation standing at 2.3% in March – we still have a long way to go to make the dream of owning a home accessible to all, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.”

About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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