Stamp duty in the news

4th December 2017

Solicitor Philip Horlock from Gilbert Stephens’ Okehampton branch specialises in conveyancing and property law. He explains what Philip Hammond’s Budget announcement will mean for first-time buyers.

In his Budget speech, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the immediate introduction of tax relief for first-time buyers.  With immediate effect, first-time buyers paying £300,000 or less for a residential property will pay no Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).  First-time buyers paying between £300,000 and £500,000 will pay SDLT at 5% on the amount in excess of £300,000.

Before the Budget, first-time buyers would have paid SDLT at the current standard rates of 2% on the portion of the purchase price over £125,000 and up to £250,000, and then 5% on the portion of the purchase price over £250,000.

A first-time buyer is defined as someone who has never owned a freehold or leasehold interest in a residential dwelling in the United Kingdom or anywhere in the world, and who intends to occupy the property as their main residence.  All buyers in a joint purchase must be first-time buyers to be eligible for the tax relief.

First-time buyers purchasing property for more than £500,000 will not be entitled to any tax relief and will pay SDLT at the current standard rates.