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First Time Buyers See The Benefit

By Terry Holmes - 01 March 2019

Over the years one of the most common topics I’ve encountered at a party, at dinner with friends or even just encounters with people I hardly know, is how difficult it is for their children to get on the housing ladder.

At present however there is probably more assistance available than we have seen for a generation or more with the Government at last acknowledging the plight of first purchasers trying to cope with seemingly unending price rises.

First Time Buyers Relief was introduced by the Chancellor in November 2017 ending Stamp Duty for a first purchase below £300,000, saving £5,000 a that figure. More than 180,000 buyers have benefited from this according to recent HMRC figures with the estimated amount saved totalling more than £426 million.

In addition, first time buyers can still take advantage of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme that makes it possible to buy a brand new home with as little as 5% deposit.

Since it started in 2013 around 200,000 properties have been bought under Help to Buy and 81% of purchasers were first time buyers. 

One of the major barriers to people buying their first home has been the amount of hard cash needed to fund the deposit, often 20% of the purchase price, and Stamp Duty. At £300,000 that would have meant finding £65,000. Today that could be just £15,000, putting far less pressure on the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’!

The impact has been noticeable. Almost a quarter of buyers coming to us are now first purchasers, up from under 20% a year ago which is a considerable bearing in mind the market stabilised in 2018 with uncertainty surrounding Brexit. But even that has played into first time buyers hands with a wider choice of properties now in the marketplace.