Over half (59%) of all UK properties for sale over the past year were exempt from paying any type of transactional tax for first-time buyers, property portal Zoopla has found.
In England the threshold for stamp duty is £300,00, for Scotland the threshold for land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT) is £175,000 and in Wales the threshold for land transaction tax is £180,000.
Zoopla’s analysis highlights that Scotland is home to the highest percentage of properties (61%) that are exempt from LBTT, compared to 58% of homes in England being exempt from stamp duty.
Some 56% of residential property in Wales is exempt from land transaction tax.
Laura Howard, spokesperson for Zoopla, said: “Our recent research revealed that first-time buyers 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.
“59% 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 first-time buyers, who might otherwise struggle to gather enough cash to cover all the upfront costs.
“First-time buyers 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.”
In England, the towns of Bootle in Merseyside and Shildon in County Durham are where first-time buyers are least likely to pay any stamp duty.
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.
In London, Croydon was in first place for stamp duty exemption and partial relief as 26.8% of homes were for sale for under £300,000 across the 12 months.