Nearly 70,000 first-time buyers have benefited so far from the abolition of stamp duty on homes costing less than £300,000.
The figures, released by the government, cover the period up to 31 March this year, at which date the stamp duty regime changed in Wales. The reliefs for first time buyers still apply in England but for purchases up to £400,000 in Wales, the overall rate of Land Transaction Tax is lower for all buyers.
The changes to stamp duty were made by Chancellor Philip Hammond in the autumn Budget last November.
The stamp duty cost for first-time buyers is now:
- properties up £300k, no stamp duty
- properties between £300k and £500k – 5% on the part above £300k
- properties over £500k – no entitlement to relief.
The government says that over the next five years, the changes will help over 1 million people get on to the housing ladder.
Separate figures show that over 387,000 people have now used the government’s Help to Buy scheme, and over 1.1 million accounts have been opened with the Help to Buy ISA, offering government bonuses of up to £3,000.
The median age of a first-time buyer in the Help to Buy scheme is 27, compared to a national first-time buyer median age of 30.
Over the next five years, the government plans to spend £44 billion on housing in a bid to build 300,000 new homes a year in the areas that need it, as well as encouraging better use of land in cities and towns.
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