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Sunday, 25 February

Stamp Down On First Time Buyers

Employers already struggling to recruit staff or finding morale is low amongst younger workers will be dismayed to learn that only 387 properties are Stamp Duty exempt for first time buyers in inner London.

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea has just six properties for sale that are stamp duty exempt, including a 113-square foot studio flat. The boroughs of Camden and City of Westminster, both had just 18 stamp duty exempt properties on the market at time of writing.

First Time Buyers should head for Croydon. The London borough has the most stamp duty exempt properties for sale - 795.

The stamp duty cut for first time buyers was the Government’s big giveaway in last year’s Autumn Budget. But how much help will it really give buyers in London?

For aspirational young buyers who dream of living in the heart of London (Travel Zones 1-2), the stamp duty cut will benefit very few. According to analysis by online estate agents, there are just 387 properties currently for sale at £300,000 or less in London Travel Zones 1 and 2, that would be stamp duty exempt for first time buyers.

If you extended the search area to include Travel Zone 3, the number of stamp duty exempt properties increases to 1,235.

The reality is, that most first time buyers will still have to pay stamp duty if they’re hoping to buy in inner London. According to HouseSimple figures, there are 4,490 properties in Zone 1-2, and 7,687 properties in Zone 1-3, that are currently on the market at between £300,001 and £500,000 and would be eligible for a £5,000 stamp duty cut.

Sam Mitchell, CEO, online estate agents comments: “The Chancellor wheeled out his big tax break offering last Autumn to help first time buyers and attract young voters. Unfortunately for the young London buyer, the stamp duty cut, while beneficial to large swathes of the country, won’t make much of a dent in their house buying budget.

“Even a stamp duty saving of £5,000 on properties up to £500,000, which is not something to be sniffed at, won’t be much help if first time buyers don’t have the funds in the first place to put down substantial deposits needed to buy even a basic starter home in Inner London."



Mitchell continued: “London is seeing an exodus of young professionals, who would prefer to move to more affordable areas of the country, than buy in outer London, and face long commutes every day. With the growth of business hubs in many other major cities, and the cost of housing considerably lower than in the capital, London is no longer the economic draw it used to be.”


Number of properties for sale at £300,000 or below at time of writing 2 Feb  2018

Barking and Dagenham 214

Barnet 260

Bexley 213

Brent 292

Bromley 300

Camden 18

City of Westminster 18

Croydon 795

Ealing 235

Enfield 279

Greenwich 207

Hackney 23

Hammersmith & Fulham 24

Haringey 85

Harrow 175

Havering 275

Hillingdon 311

Hounslow 263

Islington 16

Kensington and Chelsea 6

Kingston upon Thames 85

Lambeth 123

Lewisham 231

Merton 197

Newham 260

Redbridge 242

Richmond upon Thames 56

Southwark 89

Sutton 319

Tower Hamlets 70

Waltham Forest 175

Wandsworth 94

Picture: First time buyers in London won't be getting much of a stamp duty tax break



Article written by Cathryn Ellis


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