It was announced earlier this week that stamp duty for first-time buyers will be scrapped up to £300,000 and reduced for properties up to £500,000. While the announcement was great news for many, our latest research has looked at where across England and Wales buyers will still have to stump up stamp duty, either at a reduced or full rate, based on the average first-time buyer house price.
Of the 338 areas, just 20% were home to an average first-time buyer house price over £300,000 with those seeing a reduction in line to save £5,000 on average, with just 3% unlucky enough to exceed the £500,000 limit and pay the full cost of stamp duty tax (all of which are in London).
Of course, the price of London property means that every borough other than Barking and Dagenham will still see first-time buyers fork out an average of £10,435 in stamp duty, although 23 boroughs will see the reduction of £5,000 on average in stamp duty.
Of the 3% that will remain at the old rate, Kensington and Chelsea is predictably the highest at £48,359, with Westminster, the City of London, Camden, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Hackney, Wandsworth, Richmond, and Haringey all also remaining at the previous level of stamp duty tax.
Elsewhere across England and Wales, the 10% of first-time buyers that will still pay stamp duty will at least see the cost of their sale reduce by the £5,000 average.
The area still paying the highest is South Bucks at £7,100 although this has reduced from £12,100, with first-time buyers in Elmbridge (£6,011), Chiltern (£5,507), Three Rivers (£5,368) and St Albans (£5,190) all also paying over £5,000.
The 33 areas still due to pay a reduced rate of stamp duty in England are located across 10 counties in the South/South East of England – Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Sussex.
Everywhere else across the nation either already paid no stamp duty, or has seen it scrapped based on the average first-time buyer house price.
On the face of it a positive move by the Government to scrap stamp duty for the majority of first-time buyers, but one that will no doubt leave some feeling a little bitter that they will still see a charge of some kind just because of the location they are buying, while others are reprieved.
While this will no doubt help rejuvenate an air of buyer demand in the market, the continued lack of meaningful address where the issue of supply is concerned, will further tilt the supply and demand see-saw out of kilter.
As a result, more first-time buyers could see the price of the property they seek to buy creep out of the £300,000 bracket and again incur a cost with regard to stamp duty tax.Russell Quirk