First-time buyers have until Valentine’s Day to

1 February 2012

Home buyers must have completed their house purchase by 24 March 2012 to qualify for the current 1% stamp duty exemption on purchased properties up to £250,000. We calculate that it takes on average 39 days between an offer being accepted and completion, as long as purchasers are “legally ready” to buy, making 14 February the last possible date for aspiring homeowners to put an offer in.


While we are is keen to stress that whilst these are average figures, aspiring homeowners who want to qualify need to get a move on to find their dream home, as well as having the necessary documentation ready to speed up the purchase.


Under the current Stamp Duty Land Tax relief rules there is a temporary exemption allowing first-time buyers to avoid the 1% stamp duty tax on homes costing under £250,000, a saving of £2,000 on a house worth £200,000.  The exemption from stamp duty for first time buyers will end on 24 March 2012, following a government report which showed that the tax relief had been relatively ineffective in increasing the number of first time buyers entering the property market.


Those first-time buyers who will miss the boat on the Stamp Duty Land Tax relief will however have another perk as later in the year the government will introduce a deposit support scheme which will allow people to qualify for a mortgage of up to 95% on new build properties, although they will now all have to pay stamp duty.


Robin King, Director, Move with Us comments: “While moving is never an exact science, buyers can improve their chances of a smoother process by being legally ready. Although the government is ending the stamp duty relief exemption because it says it has not been popular, if you are a first-time buyer and looking to buy soon then you would be a fool not to try and take advantage of it before it ends.

“The changes to stamp duty will only benefit those who can afford  a big deposit. Those who are struggling to save enough may wait to benefit from the new build scheme, which the government is proposing to introduce later in the spring.”


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