Data published by HMRC has revealed that first-time homebuyers have collectively 'saved £426 million' as a result of changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).
In the 2017 Autumn Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a new exemption from SDLT for most first-time homebuyers. From 22 November 2017, first-time buyers in England and Northern Ireland paying £300,000 or less for a residential property pay no SDLT.
First-time homebuyers paying between £300,000 and £500,000 pay SDLT at 5% on the amount of the purchase price in excess of £300,000. The relief only applies to purchases in England and Northern Ireland: SDLT is devolved in Wales and Scotland.
In the 2018 Autumn Budget, the Chancellor announced an extension to first-time buyers' relief so that all qualifying shared ownership property purchasers can benefit, whether or not the purchaser elects to pay SDLT on the market value of the property.
This extension applies to relevant transactions with an effective date on or after 29 October 2018. It has also been backdated to 22 November 2017 so that those eligible who have not previously claimed first-time buyers' relief are able to amend their return to claim a refund.
According to HMRC, more than 180,500 first-time homebuyers have so far benefitted from the changes to SDLT.
Mel Stride, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said: 'These statistics show that the government was right to offer a helping hand to first-time buyers. Without this investment, more than 180,500 new homeowners may have struggled to get onto the property ladder.'