The latest property market analysis by London lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, has revealed that a high rate of house price growth caused by the stamp duty holiday will now see some first-time buyers pay stamp duty on their purchase as a result of the average house price exceeding the stamp duty free threshold of £300,000.
Prior to the government’s decision to grant a stamp duty break for the entire property market, first-time buyers already benefited from legislation that saw them pay no stamp duty on homes valued up to £300,000 and a reduced rate up to the £500,000 mark.
Benham and Reeves analysed how the average price paid by first-time buyers has changed since the introduction of the stamp duty holiday.
Across England, the average first-time buyer is now paying £226,474 and while this is a £14,248 increase when compared to June of last year before the holiday was introduced, they continue to pay no stamp duty on their purchase.
FTB stamp duty threshold hopping
However, no less than 12 areas of the English property market have seen the average FTB house price jump the £300,000 threshold as a result of stamp duty holiday house price growth, with buyers now facing a tax bill where they previously wouldn’t have.
First-time buyers in Tunbridge Wells are facing the largest tax bill, having previously paid no stamp duty on the average purchase, they’ll now face a charge of £1,339 in SDLT.
In Uttlesford, the average first-time buyer will now pay £1,202 in stamp duty, with Chichester (£1,159) and Tonbridge and Malling (£1,119) also seeing a charge in excess of £1,000.
Other areas where first-time buyers will now pay stamp duty include Broxbourne (£527), Cotswold (£309), Barking and Dagenham (£286), Vale of White Horse (£201), Dartford (£134), East Hampshire (£118), Mid Sussex (£66) and Wealden (£11).
Biggest increases in FTB stamp duty
But it’s not just first-time buyers in these areas that are further out of pocket when climbing the ladder. An additional 55 areas will see the level of SDLT previously paid by first-time buyers increase, some by quite a margin.
In Elmbridge, the average first-time buyer will pay £3,178 more in stamp duty come the end of September, with Oxford (£2,556), Hammersmith and Fulham (£2,219), Winchester (£2,208), Waltham Forest (£2,114), Tower Hamlets (£2,097) and Enfield (£2,035) also seeing stamp duty for first-time buyers increase by more than £2,000.
Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented: “The cost of taking that first step onto the property ladder has never been higher and thanks to the stamp duty holiday, it’s about to get all the more expensive for many first-time buyers.
Some will now find that an increase in house prices has pushed them over the stamp duty free threshold of £300,000, while others will have expected a stamp duty bill but will now be paying more than they would have prior to the launch of the holiday.
In some cases this additional cost may only be marginal, in others, it will add thousands of pounds to the cost of buying. However, any increase, regardless of how big or small, won’t be welcomed by hard pressed buyers who have already scrimped and saved in order to buy their first home.”