Conveyancing Caution: First time buyer deadline approaching

Published: 05/10/2011

We may be basking in the glow of an Indian summer but the fact remains that autumn has arrived. And this means the end of the Stamp Duty reprieve for First Time Buyers is in sight.

From 25 March 2012, First Time Buyers will have to pay Stamp Duty on properties valued at over £125,000. But what is essential to remember is the purchase has to have completed on or before 24 March in order for the FTB to qualify for Stamp Duty exemption. This means instructions will need to be in before Christmas.

There are strong hopes within the industry that the looming Stamp Duty deadline will result in a rise in activity and help boost the market. In past cases where stamp duty exemption drew to a close, the industry enjoyed a rush on purchases; transactions increasing by up to 40 per cent in the final months¹.

However, experts are not so optimistic this time round and are predicting the uplift to be much more modest. Andy Pratt is the Chief Operating Officer at Alexander Hall. He is expecting the results to be disappointing:

“The Stamp Duty exemption only benefits first time buyers, so it only affects one end of the housing chain and will not be able to have a significant impact on the market.

“And the Stamp Duty holiday only makes the buying process more affordable for those who manage to secure mortgage finance. Most would-be first time buyers are still struggling with issues such as raising a deposit.”¹

¹Mortgage Strategy (Oct 2011)

Content correct at time of publication

Show All Articles