Stamp Duty has been abolished for first-time buyers purchasing properties up to the value of £300,000, while those buying in the most expensive areas of the country, in particular London, won’t pay the land tax on the first £300,000 of transactions up to the value of £500,000.
While that decision by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his autumn Budget will remove an estimated 80 percent of first-time buyers from paying Stamp Duty Land Tax, that still means a fifth of all newcomers to the property market will have to fork out for the duty.
Only 3 percent will still have to pay the full Stamp Duty Land Tax, predictably all in the most expensive London boroughs where house prices exceed the £500,000 limit imposed by the Treasury for exemptions.
Those lucky enough to be able to afford to buy in London’s richest borough of Kensington and Chelsea won’t save on Stamp Duty at all as the average property there costs more than £1 million – the average Stamp Duty there is £48,359.
In fact, the high cost of property in London means that buying in every borough in the capital, except for Barking and Dagenham, will mean first-time buyers continuing to pay Stamp Duty. With the average price of a house in London sitting at £488,729, according to the Land Registry’s UK House Price Index, that means an average Stamp Duty payment of £10,435 on the new rates, a saving of around £5,000 on average for new buyers.
Here are the 10 places in England where first-time buyers will still have to pay the full Stamp Duty Land Tax: Kensington and Chelsea; City of Westminster; City of London; Camden; Hammersmith and Fulham; Islington; Hackney; Wandsworth; Richmond-upon-Thames; Haringey.
Across England, there are still 33 areas where first-time buyers will have to pay Stamp Duty because average prices are over the £300,000 limit on exemption. All are in the south and south-east, including Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Sussex.
If you’re a first-time buyer, check out Homeward Legal’s comprehensive First-Time Buyers’ Hub where all your questions about purchasing for the very first time are covered in detail.