23 November 2017
FIRST-TIME buyers planning to purchase properties over £125,000 are among the biggest overall winners of The Budget.
Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered an early Christmas present for those looking to move onto the property ladder by abolishing stamp duty with immediate effect.
The reform sees the tax scrapped on all properties worth up to £300,000. Previously, first-time buyers had paid the levy on homes over £125,000.
This ranged from 2% to 5% on every Pound over that threshold depending on the value of the property.
According to leading Yorkshire estate agents, Linley & Simpson, the move will effectively result in no first-time buyers in the county paying stamp duty.
"In the Yorkshire marketplace, very rarely do we see first-time buyers eyeing up properties valued over £300,000, said the independent agents Head of Residential Sales, Mark Christopher.
"Where it will make the greatest difference is among the growing number of first-timers - particularly couples - looking to purchase a home more than £125,000.
"So for example a £200,000 property would have landed the purchaser a tax demand of £1,500. This bill has now been abolished for first-time buyers."
He added: "We welcome this move, especially as it is a permanent measure and not - as had been predicted ahead of The Budget - a temporary one.
"It will help to stimulate, and add a different dimension to, the market here in Yorkshire.
"We expect to see more first-time buyer purchases as a result, particularly of homes in the sought-after £125,000 to £250,000 bracket.
"The money they save in tax will help the bigger, upfront cost of a deposit more affordable."
The agency stressed it is important to remember that a first-time buyer is defined as someone who has never owned freehold or leasehold property before, and who is purchasing their only or main residence.
So if buyers have sold up and rented for a year or two, they would not qualify.
And for joint purchases made by couples, both parties need to meet this first-time buyer definition laid down by The Treasury.