More than half of UK property exempt from transaction tax for FTBs

New research has revealed that 59% of all UK properties on sale over the last year were exempt from paying any type of transactional tax for FTBs, according to Zoopla.

The property website has analysed its listings across 12 months and compared listing prices to the tax thresholds across England, Scotland and Wales, to find the majority of UK homes are exempt from any transactional tax as they fall under the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) threshold, or its country’s equivalent, for FTBs.

In England, the SDLT threshold for FTBs is £300,000, and Bootle in Merseyside, Shildon in County Durham, and Heckmondwike in West Yorkshire top the list of places where FTBs are least likely to pay any SDLT – over 99% of the properties in this top three were exempt from any transactional tax.

In Scotland, the equivalent of SDLT is the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), where the FTB threshold sits at £175,000, and in Wales it is the Land Transaction Tax (LTT), where the FTB threshold is £180,000. Zoopla’s research finds that Scotland, with the lowest numbered threshold for FTBs, is home to the highest percentage of residential properties exempt from any transactional tax, where 61% of properties are exempt from LBTT. This is compared to 58% of homes in England exempt from SDLT, and 56% exempt from LTT in Wales.

Spokesperson for Zoopla, Laura Howard, commented: “Our recent research revealed that FTBs are set to be the largest buyer group of 2019 - and indications are that many have been bolstered by the SDLT relief that applies to a typically-priced, entry level property.

“Fifty-nine per cent of all homes currently for sale are exempt from stamp duty - or its country’s equivalent. This is certainly unlocking the prospect of homeownership for many FTBs, who might otherwise struggle to gather enough cash to cover all the upfront costs.”

For London, Zoopla has analysed its listings across London boroughs for those under the SDLT threshold of £300,000 for FTBs, whilst also looking at the percentage of properties where FTBs would receive a proportion of SDLT relief due to its sale price being £500,000 or below.

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

Howard added: “FTBs are new to the buying process, so agents have a key role to play in providing helpful information on the transaction process, and by making the stamp duty thresholds clear – it could help to build a trusted agent-buyer relationship that will last for years to come.”

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