Everything you need to know about Stamp Duty Changes

Wednesday 22nd November saw the presentation of the Autumn Budget and with it came changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax for first time buyers.


Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax which is payable if you buy any property  in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. SDLT is calculated against the value of the property and the rate that you pay depends on your personal circumstances.


Before the changes came into effect first-time buyers paid stamp duty at varying rates on any purchases of residential property above £125,000.00.

The Treasury has now stated that this threshold will be raised to £300,000.00 effective immediately. It is estimated that this increase will mean 80% of first time buyers will now pay no stamp duty. The Treasury estimates that the changes will help over one million first-time buyers get onto the housing ladder over the next five years.

Any purchases between £300,000.00 and £500,000.00 will also be liable for a reduction in SDLT under the reforms.

Any purchases above £500,000.00 will receive no discount to SDLT.


For the purposes of this discount 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.’ 

If you have ever owned any residential property before anywhere in the world then unfortunately you will not qualify.

In a joint purchase, all purchasers would need to fall within the above definition of ‘first-time buyer’ to qualify for the reduced rates.


If you are buying a property that costs more than £125,000 and up to £500,000 you will save money.

Under the previous rules 2% SDLT was payable on every pound above a property value of £125,000 , up to £250,000, while a 5% rate currently applies on the band between £250,000 and £925,000.

For example; under the old rules a first-time buyer purchasing a property for £200,000.00 would be liable for £1,500.00 in SDLT. However, under the new rules, no tax will be payable on this transaction.

Similarly, a first-time buyer purchasing a property for £300,000 would have been liable for  £5,000.00 in SDLT. However, under the new rules, no SDLT will be payable on this transaction.

A £10,000 tax bill on a £400,000 property is being reduced to £5,000 and a £15,000 charge on a £500,000 home goes down to £10,000.

If a first-time buyer purchases a property that costs between £300,000.00 and £500,000.00 then the first £300,000.00 is free from SDLT and the amount between £300,000.00 and £500,000.00 will be taxable at 5%. For example; a purchase at £400,000.00 would have previously attracted a SDLT bill of £10,000.00, this has now been reduced to £5,000.00.

Unfortunately, there has been no change is the SDLT regime for purchases over £500,000.00 and these purchases will still attract SDLT at the previous rates.

Stamp Duty changes for first-time buyers
Property price Stamp Duty before budget Stamp Duty now
>£125,000 (England and NI) £0 £0
£200,000 (England, Wales, NI) £1,500 £0
£300,000 £5,000 £0
£400,000 £10,000 £5,000
£500,000 £15,000 £10,000
Above £500,000 no change


If you are thinking of purchasing a property and if you want to know more about the SDLT changes then please call a member of our experienced Conveyancing Team who will happily discuss the transaction and your eligibility with you.



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