First time buyers: the clock is ticking to save on Stamp Duty

Looking for your dream home?

Time is running out for you to save up to £6,250 when buying your first home. The Stamp Duty Holiday is coming to an end on 31st March 2025. Don’t miss out.

We know that it may seem like an age away, but when buying a home, March 2025 will creep up quickly. After spending some time looking for your ideal property, it can, on average, take twelve weeks or more before you get the keys to a property after an offer has been accepted.

This includes securing a mortgage, conducting surveys and completing all legalities and paperwork, which in Scotland also includes the exchange of missives. Each stage in the process has the potential to cause delays and, in a busy market, this period could be extended as other buyers rush to get a deal finished.

When the policy ends, you’ll need to have completed a deal and exchanged contracts to qualify for the stamp duty savings. 

What is Stamp Duty?

In England, Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax on property and land purchases and can make a significant difference to the cost of your house purchase. If you’d like to read more about Stamp Duty in our England guide to Stamp Duty

In Scotland, a Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) is applied. It works similarly to the English Stamp Duty, but the thresholds and bands are different. Read more about the LBTT in our Scotland guide.

In Wales, the tax also has a different name and bands. Here it is called Land Transaction Tax (LTT). To find out more about the Welsh LTT, read our short guide here.

What is Stamp Duty relief? 

After the Stamp Duty holiday that was introduced in July 2020 and then phased out and withdrawn in September 2021, the English and Scottish Governments introduced a tax relief for first-time buyers. Note that Wales did not introduce a Land Transaction Tax relief for first-time buyers.

In England, the first-time buyer Stamp Duty tax relief means that first-time buyers pay 0% Stamp Duty up to £425,000 (up from £300,000).*

In Scotland, the relief means that first-time buyers pay 0% Land and Building Transaction Tax on property values up to £175,000, with a reduction of up to £600 in tax.* 

English Stamp Duty Tax relief until March 2025:*

Property value Stamp Duty Land Tax Rate
Up to £425,000 0%
£425,001 – £625,000 5%

If you’re looking to purchase a main home under £425,000, today you will pay absolutely nothing in Stamp Duty Tax, but you must have completed your purchase by March 2025 to qualify.

As it currently stands, after 31 March 2025, the temporary relief period will end and the previous Stamp Duty rates will apply. Once the relief ends, first-time buyers will have to pay 5% Stamp Duty on property values above £300,000, while in Scotland, this value lies at £150,000.*

English Stamp Duty for first-time buyers after March 2025:
Property value Stamp Duty Land Tax Rate
Up to £250,000 0%
£250,001 to £925,000 5%
£925,001 to £1.5 million 10%
Over £1.5 million 12%

Scottish LBTT rate after the relief ends:
Property value Land & Buildings Transaction Tax Rate
Up to £145,000 0%
£145,001 to £250,000 2%
£250,001 to £325,000 5%
£325,000 to £750,000 10%
Over £750,000 12%

Welsh LTT Rate: 
Property value Land & Buildings Transaction Tax Rate
Up to £180,000 0%
£180,001 to £250,000 3.5%
£250,001 to £400,000 5%
£400,001 to £750,000 7.5%
£750,000 to £1.5m 10%
Over £1.5m 12%

Contact your local branch

To find out about Stamp Duty savings or for further advice, get in touch today.

Is there a Stamp Duty relief for home-movers?

It’s also worth noting that home-movers are also entitled to tax relief in England. In both Scotland and Wales, no tax relief on Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and Land Transaction Tax is available to them.

The thresholds for home-movers are different to those for first-time buyers. With the current tax relief in place, Home-movers pay 0% Stamp Duty in England on values up to £250,000 (up from the usual £125,000).

So if you’ve been thinking about buying, why not start your search today.

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