First-time buyers save £426m in stamp duty

First-time buyers have saved a tremendous £426m in stamp duty, taking advantage of the government’s stamp duty relief introduced in November 2017, according to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Quarterly Stamp Duty Land Tax Statistics.

The report revealed that approximately 180,500 first-time buyers have used the relief, with the average buyer saving £2,360 in stamp duty.

Furthermore, 80 per cent of first-time buyers in the past quarter paid zero stamp duty, and a fifth of all property buyers have claimed the relief.

AJ Bell personal finance analyst Laura Suter highlighted that the relief has “undoubtedly provided a leg-up” for some buyers, allowing them to save up to £5,000 and gain access to the property market sooner.

Suter added that first-time buyers can pair this tax break with the £1,000 a year government bonus from the Lifetime ISA and other initiatives, such as Help to Buy, in order to increase their chances of getting on the property ladder.

However, despite this saving, the AJ Bell personal finance analyst highlighted that saving for a deposit is “still a massive hurdle” for many prospective buyers.

“This is shown by the fact that the average first-time buyer in the UK is now 30-years-old and has an annual salary of £42,000, while the average London buyer is 32 and has a whopping £70,000 household income,” Suter concluded.

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