Time is running out for First Time Buyers

The clock is ticking for First Time Buyers who want to take advantage of the current exemption from stamp duty which was introduced in March 2010.

At the moment, first time buyers have been exempt from paying any stamp duty on properties up to 250,000, but this will come to an end on 24th March 2012. After this time, stamp duty will be payable at a rate of 1% of the purchase price, where the property being bought is priced between 125,001 and 250,000.

Given that it can often take six to eight weeks from making an offer on a property to completing and the handing over of the keys, first time buyers will need to act quickly, if they want to make a saving.

There has been much criticism of the removal of the exemption, but in its Autumn Statement the Government said;

"The Government is publishing analysis showing that the stamp duty land tax relief for first-time buyers has been ineffective in increasing the number of first time buyers entering the market. This relief will therefore end on 24 March 2012 as planned. The Government is instead prioritising more effective measures which provide better value for money."

Given the pressures on first time buyers in raising deposit monies, and the limited availability of mortgages generally, this decision is bound to have an impact on buyers looking to purchase their first home.

First time buyers who are in a position to buy at the moment should think carefully about the stamp duty position and if they want to make a saving, they need to act soon!

Reference: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15944999

Alistair McKinlay

Written by

Alistair McKinlay

Director & Head of Conveyancing

Alistair is a Director and Head of Conveyancing with over 20 years’ experience. He deals with a wide range of property matters, including residential sales and purchases, estate development work and commercial property transactions, acting for clients locally and nationally. Alistair has been instrumental in the...

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