Budget 2018: stamp duty land tax relief for first-time buyers extended

As part of the government’s efforts to support first-time buyers, the Chancellor confirmed that the stamp duty land tax (SDLT exemption for first-time buyers will be extended to shared ownership purchases

The Chancellor said that the abolition of ‘first-time buyers’ stamp duty on properties up to £300,000 will be extended to first-time buyers of shared ownership properties up to £500,000,’ adding that this ‘relief will be retrospective for anyone who has purchased property since the last Budget’.

The extension will cover property sales to first-time buyers in England and Northern Ireland, but not Wales and Scotland where property taxes are devolved.

This change will apply to relevant transactions with an effective date on or after 29 October 2018, and will also be backdated to 22 November 2017 so that those eligible who have not previously claimed first-time buyers relief will be able to amend their return to claim a refund.

This measure is likely to have a negligible effect on the Exchequer, costing around £5m a year.

The number of first-time buyers has hit 121,500, marking an 11-year high, representing a return to pre-crash levels for the first time.

Meantime, the government confirmed that it is considering levying a 1% stamp duty land tax (SDLT) surcharge on non-resident buyers of residential property in England and Northern Ireland, although the consultation is not likely to take place before early 2019.

He also announced a further £500m for the Housing Infrastructure Fund, to support construction of a further 650,000 homes; new strategic partnerships with nine Housing Associations which will deliver 13,000 homes across England and up to £1bn of British Business Bank guarantees to support the revival of SME housebuilders.

Meantime, the government will consult on simplification of the process for conversion of commercial property into new homes.

Report by Sara White


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