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Wednesday 31st of March 2010
March 24, 2010    

Stamp duty concession aids 90% of first-time buyers

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by Gill Montia

The stamp duty threshold has been raised from £125,000 to £250,000 for two years, but only for first-time buyers.

In today’s Budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling said the change would result in nine out of every 10 first-time buyers making their purchases free of the tax.

It is not yet clear how the system will be regulated, particularly as it is understood that where a property is purchased in joint names, both parties must qualify as first-time buyers to benefit from the concession.

The move will cost the Treasury £230 million in 2010/11 and £290 million in 2011/12, which will be offset by a 1% rise in the duty, to 5%, for those paying in excess of £1 million for a home.

Earlier this week, the National Housing Federation reported that owning a home has become a pipe dream for millions of young Britons.

Research by the body suggests that 50% of those wanting to get a foot on the property ladder are preparing for a wait of at least a 10-years.

Meanwhile, the latest house price index from the Department for Communities and Local Government shows that first-time buyers typically paid 8.9% more for their homes in January than a year earlier, at £149,924, while the average price paid by former owner occupiers rose 5.2% over 12 months, to £242,404.

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