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Zoopla reveals 60% of homes are stamp duty exempt for first time buyers

10th October 2019

  • 59% of all homes for sale fall under the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) threshold for first-time buyers
  • Scotland is home to the highest percentage of LBTT tax-exempt properties
  • First-time buyers in Bootle and Shildon least likely to pay any SDLT
  • In London, Croydon is home to the highest percentage of SDLT exempt homes

New research from Zoopla, the UK’s most comprehensive property website, has revealed that 59% of all UK properties for sale over the last year were exempt from paying any type of transactional tax for first-time buyers. By analysing its listings across 12 months and then comparing listing prices to the tax thresholds across England, Scotland and Wales, Zoopla has uncovered where first-time buyers are least and most likely to pay tax.

 

Transaction tax thresholds for first-time buyers are currently defined as follows:

  • England: Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) - £300,000 threshold
  • Scotland: Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) - £175,000 threshold
  • Wales: Land Transaction Tax (LTT) - £180,000 threshold

Zoopla’s analysis highlights that Scotland is home to the highest percentage of properties (61%) that are exempt from LBTT, compared to 58% for homes in England being exempt from SDLT, with 56% of residential property in Wales being exempt from LTT.

 

Excluding London, Zoopla’s research also reveals the post town areas in the UK where first-time buyers are most and least likely to buy, without paying any tax on transactions, based on exemption thresholds. With just under 100% (99.6%) of all properties being priced under the SDLT threshold, the towns of Bootle in Merseyside and Shildon in County Durham top the list of places where first-time buyers are least likely to pay any Stamp Duty. In third place is Heckmondwike in West Yorkshire (99.2%), whilst Blyth in Northumberland, where 99% of homes don’t require first-time buyers to pay Stamp Duty, is fourth .

 

At the other end of the spectrum, Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire has the fewest amount of properties where first-time buyers are exempt from paying Stamp Duty - just 1.7% of homes available in the town were priced under the tax threshold. Ingatestone in Essex is in second place (2.0%), and Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire is in third (3.4%).

 

In London, Zoopla analysed listings across boroughs for those under the Stamp Duty threshold of £300,000, whilst also looking at the percentage of properties where first-time buyers would receive a proportion of SDLT relief due its sale price being £500,000 or below.

 

In first place for Stamp Duty exemption and partial relief was the London Borough of Croydon, where 26.8% of homes were for sale for under £300,000 across the 12 months, rising dramatically to 81.7% where FTBs were able to receive some relief. Unsurprisingly the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, home to some of the UK’s most expensive addresses, only had 9.2% of homes where first-time buyers received any tax relief when purchasing a home.

 

Laura Howard, spokesperson for Zoopla, comments:  

“The various first-time buyer tax reliefs across Great Britain have helped put more than 59% of homes firmly in the ‘Stamp Duty-free’ zone - or its country equivalent.

 

“Buying your first home is usually the most costly thing you’ll ever do, so the maximum £5,000 saving made possible with this tax relief is welcome; after all it could cover your survey and legal costs.

 

“It’s important to remember that the Government sets down a strict definition of ‘first-time buyer’. If you (or anyone you are buying with) have ever owned a property, or even part of one, previously, either in the UK or abroad, you will not qualify for the tax break.

 

“While first-time buyers are now not treated differently in Wales in terms of Stamp Duty, lower property prices there mean that 56% of homes respectively are also exempt, which is still a welcome reality.

 

“If you are looking to find out more about the performance of your local market to ascertain where you can afford to buy, use Zoopla’s house price tool or speak with one of our local agents.”

 

-ENDS-

 

Country % of homes exempt from FTB Tax

County

FTB Tax Threshold

% Below FTB Tax Threshold

% Above FTB Tax Threshold

England

£300,000

58.2%

41.8%

Scotland

£175,000

61.4%

38.6%

Wales

£180,000*

56.1%

43.9%

Great Britain

N/A

59.2%

40.8%

 

Highest % of homes exempt from FTB Tax

Rank

Postal Town

Average value October 2019

% Below FTB SDT Threshold

% Above FTB SDT Threshold

1=

Bootle

£100,534

99.6%

0.4%

1=

Shildon

£84,286

99.6%

0.4%

3

Heckmondwike

£132,383

99.2%

0.8%

4=

Blyth

£127,087

99.0%

1.0%

5=

Gateshead

£139,084

99.0%

1.0%

6

Stanley

£101,752

98.9%

1.1%

7

Fleetwood

£121,497

98.7%

1.3%

8

Peterlee

£90,608

98.6%

1.4%

9

Mexborough

£128,827

98.5%

1.5%

10

Jarrow

£126,607

98.3%

1.7%

 

Lowest % of homes exempt from FTB Tax

Rank

Postal Town

Average value October 2019

% Below FTB Tax Threshold

% Above FTB Tax Threshold

1

Beaconsfield

£1,048,917

1.7%

98.3%

2

Ingatestone

£724,203

2.0%

98.0%

3

Chalfont St Giles

£1,004,298

3.4%

96.6%

4

Radlett

£963,548

3.8%

96.2%

5

Thames Ditton

£744,210

4.6%

95.4%

6

Harpenden

£828,402

4.9%

95.1%

7

Teddington

£746,443

5.0%

95.0%

8

Virginia Water

£1,331,011

5.3%

94.7%

9

Usk

£366,077

5.8%

94.2%

10

Windlesham

£703,504

6.8%

93.2%

 

 

London Borough % of homes exempt from FTB Tax

Rank

Borough

Average value October 2019

% Below FTB SDT Threshold

% Above FTB SDT Threshold

% Partial SDT discount (Under £500k)

1

Croydon

£410,162

26.8%

73.2%

81.7%

2

Bromley

£512,679

18.1%

81.9%

79.7%

3

Newham

£360,572

18.8%

81.2%

74.9%

4

Lewisham

£454,830

 

15.1%

84.9%

64.0%

5

Greenwich

£441,652

17.6%

82.4%

63.2%

6

Waltham Forest

£431,366

14.1%

85.9%

59.6%

7

Enfield

£456,675

17.6%

82.4%

59.4%

8

Redbridge

£441,735

8.9%

91.1%

51.6%

9

Brent

£507,744

7.0%

93.0%

47.6%

10

Tower Hamlets

£520,439

3.0%

97.0%

46.0%

11

Haringey

£616,483

5.8%

94.2%

44.2%

12

Lambeth

£632,812

5.2%

94.8%

40.7%

13

Ealing

£559,927

4.6%

95.4%

37.0%

14

Southwark

£606,882

5.1%

94.9%

35.9%

15=

Merton

£612,911

5.6%

94.4%

35.8%

15=

Barnet

£636,032

5.7%

94.3%

35.8%

17

Hackney

£575,087

 

 

2.4%

97.6%

35.2%

18

Islington

£765,795

1.5%

98.5%

29.5%

19

Wandsworth

£724,749

2.8%

97.2%

27.7%

20

Hounslow

£522,052

1.5%

98.5%

25.6%

21

Camden

£1,033,575

1.7%

98.3%

18.6%

22

Hammersmith and Fulham

£934,117

1.6%

98.4%

18.5%

23

Westminster

£1,304,246

9.1%

90.9%

18.3%

24

Richmond upon Thames

£850,053

0.7%

99.3%

14.5%

25

Kensington and Chelsea

£1,935,105

1.5%

98.5%

9.2%

 

 

- Ends -

For further information, please contact PR Team on pr@zoopla.co.uk or +44 (0)20 3873 8770.

 

Notes to Editors

 

Zoopla analysed historic listing data for the period of 25/09/2018 to 25/09/2019. Zoopla then compared percentage of properties listed for sale compared to Stamp Duty thresholds for that country.

 

Post towns needed to have at least 96 listings for sale across the period to be included in the analysis.

 

* First time buyers in Wales do not enjoy specific Stamp Duty thresholds -  these are based on what is available to the general house buyer

 

For further information, please contact:

Tim Vooght at Zoopla on 0203 872 5615 or email pr@zoopla.co.uk

 

About Zoopla

 

Zoopla is the UK's most comprehensive property website, helping consumers to research the market and find their next home by combining hundreds of thousands of property listings with market data and local information.

 

At Zoopla we are fans of transparency and everything we do is aimed at making the market more efficient for both property consumers and advertisers alike. Zoopla has rapidly become the UK’s leading online destination for property consumers to search for homes and do their market research and the favoured online marketing partner for UK estate agents, letting agents and property developers.

 

Launched in 2008, Zoopla has since been one of the fastest growing websites in the UK, now attracting over 50 million visits per month and we are proud to have collected numerous awards and accolades along the way, including being named one of the Top 10 UK Tech Companies (Guardian) and one of the Top 10 Most Innovative UK Companies (Smarta). 

About Zoopla

Hello. We're Zoopla. A property website and app.

We know you're not just looking for a place to live. You're looking for a home.

Yeah, we've got over a million properties for you to browse.

Tools that let you filter them in all kinds of clever ways.

And reliable house price estimates, so you can be sure you aren't paying over the odds.

But we know you're looking for more than that.

Because that first flat won't just be a 'great investment opportunity'.

It'll be the feeling of starting out on your own.

That extra bedroom won't just mean another £20K on the re-sale price, it'll mean having your sister over to stay.

And that bungalow won't just be a way to release some equity, it will be a chance to spend more time with the grandkids.

We know that searching for a home is about more than just checking its price, location and features (important as all those things are).

What really matters is how it makes you feel.

We know what a home is really worth.

So let us help you find yours.

Zoopla is part of Zoopla Limited which was founded in 2007.

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