In September, new changes were announced by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng as part of the government’s mini-budget.  The threshold of stamp duty was doubled from £125,000 to £250,000.

If you are buying a house, which is your main home, in England and Northern Ireland, the current rates are:

  • 0% for the properties up to £250,000;
  • 5% for the properties from £250,000 to £925,000;
  • 10% for the properties from £925,000 to £1,500,000;
  • 12% for the properties above £1,500,000;

According to the new legislation first time buyers will not have to pay the stamp duty for properties costing up £425,000. They will also be given a discount on stamp duty if a home they are buying costs up to £625,000. Previously, the discount was applied to properties costing up to £500,000.

Stamp duty will not be applied on a house that cost up to £250,000. This is the price for a 3-4 bedroom house in most places outside of the South East of England. 

First time buyers are able to spend up to £425,000 before paying stamp duty. In London it is roughly a cost for an average flat.

If you are thinking of spending around £625,000, your stamp duty will be nearly £19,000.

At £1m stamp duty will cost just over £41,000.

There are quite a few online stamp duty calculators that will help you get an idea how much your stamp duty will cost you. 

If you are in Scotland, the tax you will have to pay is called the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT). The Stamp Duty Holiday in Scotland ended on 31 March 2021. Since then, the following rates apply over the first £145,000:

  • 2% on the value of the property between £145,000 and £250,000
  • 5% on the part between £250,000 and £325,000
  • 10% on the part from £325,000 to £750,000
  • 12% on any value over £750,000

To buy a single property you do not have to pay any tax on the first £145,000. First time buyers in Scotland do not pay stamp duty on the first £175,000.

In Wales, the tax you will be paying when purchasing a property or land is called the Land Transaction Tax (LTT). The stamp duty in Wales ended on 30 June 2021. The thresholds for LTT have been changed to reflect house price growth.

The current Stamp Duty has been increased for the properties costing up to £225,000. Then the following rates apply:

  • 6% on the part between £225,000 and £400,000
  • 7.5% on the part between £400,000 and £750,000
  • 10% within the next band up to £1.5 million
  • 12% over £1.5 million

LTT is usually exempt on the first £180,000 of the property. And there is not currently any relief for first-time buyers in Wales. The idea is that the higher tax-free threshold of £180,000 should make most first time buys tax-free.

Welsh landlords pay an extra 4% Land Transaction Tax on top of standard rates.

Stamp duty is payable 14 days from the date of completion in England and Northern Ireland, and 30 days from the point of purchase in Scotland and Wales. If the payment is delayed, house buyers might face a fine, or be charged interest on top of the stamp duty amount.

There are different ways stamp duty can be paid. Usually, house buyers pay via their solicitors. Online direct payments as well as by cheque or cash are also accepted. Some banks offer to add stamp duty to mortgage loans but you could end up paying significantly more in interest payments.

To attract first time buyers, High Street lenders are offering mortgages to borrowers with a deposit of just 5%, under a government guarantee scheme which launched in April 2021. This scheme is still available to anyone buying a home costing on the market up to £600,000. You cannot use this scheme if you buy-to-let or buy a second home. Some new-builds are exempt too.

In Scotland the Low-Cost Initiative For First Time Buyers (LIFT) helps people buy their first home if it is listed on the market, or from a council or housing association.

In Wales various schemes are run to help people to buy a home.

  • Shared Ownership offers to buy an initial share of 25% to 75% of a property with rent paid on the remaining share.
  • Help to Buy in Wales means a shared equity loan scheme for homes up to £250,000, for first-time buyers and home movers who have a 5% deposit.
  • Homebuy is an equity loan scheme of between 30% to 50% for those who meet specific criteria to buy a property.


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