Stamp Duty 'holiday' for first-time buyers

24 March 2010

The Chancellor Alistair Darling has just announced that Stamp Duty Land Tax has been suspended for first-time buyers up to the level of £250,000 from midnight tonight. The SDLT ‘holiday’ will last for two years. It has been said that 9 out of 10 first-time buyers will no longer pay stamp duty. In Scotland, which has lower property prices than parts of England, an even greater proportion will no longer have to pay.

The changes will only affect residential property which is to be used as the buyer’s only or principle home. If more than one person is buying a property together, they must all be first-time buyers to qualify for the relief. With high property prices and difficulty in obtaining mortgages, many parents have been helping their children to get on the property ladder. Arrangements where parents take a share of the property in return for a lump sum to help with a deposit are quite common but will now have to be considered in light of the announcement.

Stamp duty on properties bought for between £125,000 and £250,000 was previously set at 1%.

The changes will be paid for by increasing stamp duty from 4% to 5% on properties worth over £1,000,000, meaning that someone buying a £2,000,000 house will now pay £100,000 in stamp duty.

Inksters welcomes the changes which it is hoped will encourage more first-time-buyers onto the property ladder. Many of our clients buying homes in the coming weeks will be toasting the Chancellor this evening.

Inksters can guide property purchasers through all aspects of the process, whether they are a first-time buyer or the owner of a property portfolio. If you are buying a house or have any questions about how the announcement will affect you, please contact our Brian Inkster on 0141 229 0880 or send Brian an e-mail

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