Stamp Duty Abolished for First-Time Buyers

Home ownership is now more affordable for millions as the Chancellor announced the scrapping of stamp duty for most first-time buyers.

Those buying a property worth £300,000 or less won’t pay a penny of stamp as of 22nd November 2017 – potentially saving novice buyers thousands of pounds. There’s also good news for first-time buyers purchasing more expensive homes. Properties worth between £301,000 and £500,000 are also cheaper to buy, as stamp duty will only be payable on the final £200,000 of the purchase. Initial figures claim around 95% of first-time buyers will now avoid paying stamp duty or will have a reduced tax bill.

Charles Robinson, Director at Jones Robinson, says the announcement is a massive boost for the West Berkshire property market:

“Finding the money for stamp duty as well as for a deposit and moving costs was a big burden for first timers. To have this suddenly removed frees up thousands of pounds for first-time buyers to put towards other costs. The news also injects new positivity into the market as we head towards Christmas and the New Year. Mortgage rates are still attractively low and we’ve got a brilliant selection of homes under £300,000 that are now stamp duty free, as well as many under £500,000 that are now for sale with a reduced tax bill. We’re urging first-timers to get in contact with us or use our online property search to see what they can now afford.”

The finer details of the stamp duty change will filter through in the coming weeks, especially the part that pertains to homes between £300,000 and £500,000, as it’s suggested this tax reduction will apply to properties in select geographical areas only.

“We’re keeping in touch with officials to see how many of our towns and neighbourhoods will benefit but we’re expecting a good result for West Berkshire.”

Other emerging details include the definition of a first time buyer. Early indications show that every party involved in a property purchase should be pure first-time buyer – meaning they must never have owner a property before. The rule also affects first-time buyers who intend to take a mortgage out with their parents – if their parents have been or currently are homeowners, they will cancel out the stamp duty free status of the first-time buyers.

“It’s great that the Chancellor thinks everyone should have the option to be homeowner,” concludes Charles. “Freeing first-time buyers from stamp duty is exactly the stimulus the West Berkshire property market needs as we move from 2017 into 2018. There may be some price corrections among existing properties on the market, with adjustments so they fall into the stamp duty free or reduced stamp duty brackets, and we expect new vigor in the flow of properties coming onto the market and subsequently going under offer. It’s a timely boost that should be exploited by buyers and sellers, especially while mortgages remain affordable.”

Jones Robinson would be delighted to help first-time buyers find their feet in this more affordable market. We’re also here to give free market appraisals to homeowners and advice sellers who may be looking to refresh their property pricing in light of the announcement. Contact us today here on chat, call 01635 35010 or email for guidance and properties for sale.

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