First Time Buyer Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty Holiday 2020

As of 8th July 2020 the Chancellor announced a Stamp Duty exemption for all properties in England and Northern Ireland up to the value of £500,000 up until the end of March 2021. For second homes or Buy to Let properties, there will be a discount, where only 3% Stamp Duty is payable up to the first £500,000. Above that amount, the usual percentage applies.

Similarly, in Scotland the threshold for paying Land & Buildings Transaction Tax was raised from £145,000 to £250,000 on Wednesday 15 July. The rates and thresholds above this figure remain unchanged. The higher threshold will remain in place until 31 March 2021.

Please note: The average house move in England takes 20 weeks (11 weeks in Scotland), so you may miss out on the exemption if you are starting the buying process now. The calculator reflects what you pay if you miss the deadline of 31 March 2021.

Do first time buyers pay Stamp Duty?

Please note: as of 8th July 2020 all property purchases (excluding second homes/Buy to Let) will be Stamp Duty exempt until 31 March 2021. This applies to First Time Buyers and those who have owned properties before. After 31st March, we expect this to revert back to the £300,000 limit for First Time Buyers, outlined below.

The rules around first time buyers paying Stamp Duty changed in 2017. If you are a first time buyer in England or Northern Ireland, you will not pay any Stamp Duty on properties up to the value of £300,000. If you buy a property up to the value of £400,000, you’ll pay 0% on the first £300,000, and 5% on the remaining portion. For example, on a property worth £400,000, you would pay 0% on £300,000 and 5% on the remaining £100,000, meaning your Stamp Duty bill would be £5,000.

How is a first time buyer defined?

A first time buyer must not own, or have ever owned, a domestic property. This includes any property you briefly owned and then sold (either in the UK or abroad) and includes inherited properties. However, you are allowed to own commercial property.

If you are buying with someone else, whether a partner, friend or family member, in order to get the exemption, you both must fulfil the first time buyer criteria.

First time buyer Stamp Duty in Scotland

The equivalent of Stamp Duty in Scotland is Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT). In Scotland, first time buyers are exempt up to £175,000. If as a first time buyer, you purchase a property worth more than £175,000, you’ll pay 0% on that, then the standard LBTT on anything above that amount.

First time buyer Stamp Duty Wales

In Wales, the equivalent of Stamp Duty is Land Transaction Tax (LTT). There is no official first time buyer exemption in Wales, but as average house prices are lower, most first time buyers will never pay LTT.

First time buyer Stamp Duty Calculator

If you want to check how much Stamp Duty you’ll pay as a first time buyer, use our Stamp Duty Calculator to get an instant breakdown.