A third of first-time buyers don’t understand stamp duty changes

Michael Lloyd

August 8, 2018

Almost a third (31%) of first-time buyers don’t know if the stamp duty abolition will benefit them when they buy their first home, online broker L&C Mortgages has found.

Furthermore, a fifth (22%) have not changed their minds on the price of the house they want to buy, in light of these stamp duty changes – because they do not know the impact the rules will have on their potential property.

More than one in 10 (13%) stated that they thought they would save over £5,000 – which is impossible under the rules. On top of this almost two in five (38%) said that they didn’t know how much they would save if they bought their first home now.

David Hollingworth, associate director, communications, L&C, said: “More needs to be done in order to ensure that first-time buyers know what is available to them.

“The stamp duty relief is welcomed by many who are looking to buy their first home, but the new rules could be considered complicated to someone who hasn’t been through the process of purchasing property before.

“In fact, the lack of understanding uncovered through our research could mean that some first-time buyers think that owning their own home is one step further away than it actually is – when in reality, a saving of up to £5,000 could be the difference in getting the required deposit together, or dropping to a lower LTV bracket.”

The majority of English first-time buyers believe that the recent stamp duty cuts by the government did not go far enough – with six in 10 (62%) believing that stamp duty should be abolished for all first-time buyers.

On top of this, almost two in five (38%) thought the value of the properties excluded from stamp duty should rise in line with house prices, highlighting the belief that the current measures won’t go far enough, and will need to be kept under close review.

Hollingworth added: “The number of first-time buyers who believe that the tax should be abolished for all those buying their first home, speaks of the need for clarity.

“Of course abolishing stamp duty for all would mean financial savings for many, but it also highlights the desire for a more simple and transparent system.

“Going through the steps to buy your first home can feel like a daunting and complicated undertaking – so it’s really important you seek expert advice in order to make sure you are getting the best deal, and that you are aware of all your options.”

Just over half (52%) thought they will benefit from the stamp duty abolition when they buy their first home.

Of those aiming to buy a property priced between £125,000 and £500,000, two in five (42%) either thought that stamp duty relief would not benefit them, or didn’t know if it would – demonstrating a further lack of knowledge about the new rules.

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