Houses Prices £250,000 and Under Receive Stamp Duty Freeze

The announcement that first-time buyers purchasing a property under £250,000 will be exempt from stamp duty has been welcomed by property website Rightmove.

Online PR News – 25-March-2010 – – Property website Rightmove has welcomed the recent announcement, in the pre-election budget, of a stamp duty exemption for first-time buyers on properties under £250,000.

With market coverage of around 90% of all properties for sale in the UK, Rightmove can reveal that 70% of properties currently listed for sale will now fall under the £250,000 threshold for first-time buyers.

Under the previous stamp duty threshold for all buyers of properties under £125,000, just 25% of properties for sale fell within this bracket. In relation to the government’s stamp duty increase for properties over £1m to 5%, Rightmove calculates that this would affect around 2% of homes currently on the market.

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove comments: "This welcome initiative removes the majority of properties for sale from the clutches of a somewhat restrictive tax for the UK property market, giving a welcome boost to the important spring market.

"A massive 70% of properties for sale are now tax-free for first-time buyers. However, sellers may feel they have to negotiate house prices less with a buyer who is now a couple of thousand pounds better off, which could blunt the benefits of this stamp duty holiday."

The total price of properties on Rightmove between £125,000 and £250,000 amounts to £60.8bn, meaning potential new stamp duty savings for first-time buyers of around £608m on currently available homes.

Shipside adds: "In truth the savings are not enough to overcome first-time buyers’ biggest challenge – that of saving the larger deposits lenders now demand. They will, however, help make a dent in the costs first-time buyers face when getting on the housing ladder.

"While Rightmove welcomes the increase in the zero-percent band, in reality the key requirement for a continued recovery in house prices and sales volumes depends upon higher mortgage availability with smaller deposits."