Stamp duty and first time buyers

If buying a house is on your wish list for 2018, the revised stamp duty fee could affect your purchase.

Following the budget announcement in Autumn 2017, first time buyers can enjoy a saving of up to £5,000 on stamp duty on first time purchases up to a value of £300,000 which will help first time buyers get onto the property ladder*. Even those first time buyers purchasing at £500,000 will get the discount on their stamp duty. This has already encouraged an uplift in mortgage enquiries by 27% **. Will it fix a lot of the problems with people being unable to buy? Probably not, but it will give buyers more of an incentive to buy.

Unlike the previous stamp duty discount back in 2014, when anyone could buy a property up to £250,000 with no stamp duty, this time the rules are much more robust. You are only eligible if you are a true first time buyer. That means that you, or any party on the deeds with you, have never owned any property in the UK or overseas. This will safeguard the discount from those who have taken advantage of loopholes in the past. Solicitors will check the land registry and various other systems to ensure you haven’t owned a property before.

For anyone seeking advice/information on the rules and process of stamp duty, contact your local solicitor/conveyancer to discuss the finer detail. As mentioned, this won’t mean we will automatically see a huge influx of first time buyers in the market but this arrangement certainly does give us encouraging signs as this incentive has come at a time when the increasing rental costs are potentially hindering people being able to save money for deposits.

If you are a first time buyer and are looking to talk to a specialist about home insurance, then please contact A-Plan.

*this applies to first time buyers in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

**Stats based on Integra Financial Ltds figures taken from an average over the 3 months prior to the change in stamp duty and the result is the rate of enquires a month after the change.

Article contributed by Ryan Boyd, Mortgage Advisor, Integra Financial Ltd