1st-time buyers in south benefit most from stamp duty cut

First-time buyers in the south of England are the most likely to benefit from relief from paying Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) because prices there generally exceed the threshold for claiming exemption.

Data from HMRC, which collects the tax on behalf of the Treasury, shows that 58,800 first-time buyers claimed relief on SDLT in the third quarter of this year.

£426m saved in tax

Since the exemption was introduced in the Budget in November 2017, a total of 108,500 first-time buyers have been exempt from paying stamp duty when they buy their first home, saving £426 million along the way.

Three-quarters (75 percent) of first-time buyers have claimed relief on SDLT in 2018, according to analysis of HMRC data.

London buyers save the most

Most of the relief was claimed by those buying in London (28 percent) with first-time buyers in the capital saving £119 million.

Across the wider south-east of England, a quarter (25 percent) of first-time buyers claimed a total of £106 million in SDLT relief.

In the east of England, 92 percent of all first-time buyers applied for SDLT relief.

Fewer houses over threshold

However, because of lower high prices, the amount saved by first-time buyers outside of London and the south-east is much lower.

In the north-east, only £5 million was saved on stamp duty because fewer than half (39 percent) of all properties bought by first-time buyers in that region were over the £300,000 threshold.