Stamp duty changes almost irrelevant for first-time buyers in Westminster borough

Stamp duty changes almost irrelevant for first-time buyers in Westminster borough

The abolition of stamp duty for first-time buyers is not benefiting those who want to buy their first property in central London, as few properties are priced low enough to make the changes to stamp duty relevant.

In the City of Westminster, there are currently only 18 properties on the market which would qualify for the stamp duty exemption.

In the last Autumn Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond offered up a boon for first-time buyers when he announced that stamp duty would no longer need to be paid by first-time buyers purchasing property worth up to £300,000. In addition, stamp duty would not be payable on the first £300,000 on a property worth up to £500,000.

As a result, it is mainly buyers in other parts of the UK who will benefit the most, while first-time buyers looking to settle in parts of London, especially central London, will unsurprisingly, struggle to benefit from the new changes to stamp duty.

Some first-time buyers will be eligible for a cut to stamp duty, but little else. Many first-time buyers are instead choosing to move out of London to nearby commuter towns in parts of the Home Counties.

Meanwhile, it’s recently been reported that potential investors are not being phased by Brexit, and still regard property as the most secure asset class. Investment activity has been particularly strong in the City of Westminster, with interest from both domestic and overseas investors.

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