The Ultimate Guide to First-Time Buyer Stamp Duty Relief: Minimise Costs and Maximise Savings



The Insider @ Houst
Last updated on
June 26, 2023

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The Ultimate Guide to First-Time Buyer Stamp Duty Relief: Minimise Costs and Maximise Savings

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When crunching the numbers for your first home purchase, don't overlook the significance of stamp duty. This tax can significantly increase the overall cost of buying property in UK. The good news for first-time buyers in the UK is stamp duty relief availability, which can eliminate the burden of paying this tax. If you're entering the property market for the first time, you may qualify for a reduced or even zero stamp duty amount through the first-time buyer stamp duty relief. This relief aims to alleviate the financial impact on newcomers to property ownership and provides an opportunity to save on this significant expense. It's beneficial to ease the financial burden for those taking their initial steps onto the property ladder.

In this blog, we’ll discuss what is stamp duty and all about first time buyer stamp duty. So, let’s get started! 

Table of Contents

What is Stamp Duty?

When purchasing a property above a specific price in England or Northern Ireland, you'll encounter stamp duty, officially known as Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). In Scotland and Wales, similar taxes exist with different names.

When the price of your new home falls below the £250,000 threshold, you are granted an exemption from paying stamp duty. However, if the purchase price exceeds the threshold, the stamp duty rate bands come into play, determining the amount you owe. Remember, stamp duty is calculated based on the portions of the purchase price within each band rather than applying the highest rate to the entire price.

First-Time Buyer Relief in 2023

Starting September 22nd, 2022, first-time buyers in England and Northern Ireland are eligible for stamp duty relief. So, if the value of your new home is up to £425,000, you won't have to pay any stamp duty.

When purchasing a home valued between £425,001 and £625,000, a 5% stamp duty rate is applied only to the amount exceeding £425,000. For example, if your first home costs £500,000, you would owe £3,750 in stamp duty, calculated as 5% of the £75,000 above the relief threshold. Remember that stamp duty regulations are subject to change in April 2025, as outlined in the government's autumn 2022 budget.

The First Time Buyer Stamp Duty rates in 2023 are as follows:

  • Up to £425,000: 0% stamp duty
  • Over £425,000 to £625,000: 5% stamp duty (applied only to the portion above £425,000)
  • Over £625,000: Normal stamp duty rates apply

Homes valued above £625,000 don't qualify for first-time buyer stamp duty relief, even if you are a first-time buyer. In such cases, you must pay stamp duty at the standard rate. You can refer to our comprehensive guide for a detailed breakdown of stamp duty amounts based on property value.

First-time buyers in Scotland don't have to pay LBTT if the property is under £175,000. Similarly, no one must pay the Land Transaction Tax (LTT) on properties valued below £180,000 in Wales.

First-Time Buyer Stamp Duty in Scotland

When purchasing property in Scotland for the first time, you may wonder about the First Time Buyer Stamp Duty, also known as LBTT (Land and Buildings Transaction Tax). Stamp duty for first-time buyers in Scotland is determined based on a percentage of the property's value. If the value of your first home is below £175,000, you don’t have to pay any stamp duty. The stamp duty rates for first-time buyers in Scotland are:

  • Properties up to £175,000: No stamp duty (0% LBTT).
  • Properties between £175,001 and £250,000: Stamp duty rate of 2% LBTT.
  • Properties between £250,001 and £325,000: Stamp duty rate of 5% LBTT.
  • Properties between £325,001 and £750,000: Stamp duty rate of 10% LBTT.
  • Properties valued at £750,001 or higher: Stamp duty rate of 12% LBTT.

First-Time Buyer Stamp Duty in Wales 

In Wales, the first-time buyer stamp duty relief is not applicable, and the Land Transaction Tax (LTT) bill remains the same whether it's your first home or not. However, it's worth noting that no LTT is imposed on properties valued below £180,000 in Wales. The LTT rates are tiered based on the property's value, as outlined below:

  • Up to £180,000 0%
  • £180,001 to £250,000 3.5%
  • £250,001 to £400,000 5%
  • £400,001 to £750,000 7.5%
  • £750,001 to £1.5 million 10%
  • £1.5 million and above 12%

First-Time Buyer Stamp Duty Relief for Affordable Homeownership

The government implemented first time buyer stamp duty relief in November 2017 to assist. Eligible first-time buyers benefit from a higher threshold for stamp duty. If you meet the criteria for a first-time buyer, there is no stamp duty when purchasing a property valued at £425,000 or below. However, this threshold is set to decrease to £300,000 starting from 1 April 2025.

Exploring Qualifications for First-Time Buyer Relief

To get first-time buyer relief, you must purchase a property as your primary residence. The property must be your first owned in the UK or elsewhere. You can't get first-time buyer stamp duty relief if you've inherited or received a property gift.

When purchasing a property jointly with another person, both individuals must individually meet the definition of a first-time buyer to be eligible for the relief. If you have previously owned a property with a partner or spouse, the relief will not be available. This applies regardless of whether you owned the property as joint tenants or in common.

Buying a House with a Non-First-Time Buyer

When partnering with another person buying property in Lisbon or London, it's natural to wonder if you can still benefit from first-time buyer stamp duty relief when one of you isn't eligible. Unfortunately, if both of you will be listed as owners on the property deeds, the opportunity for first-time buyer stamp duty relief is unavailable. To overcome this situation, one option is to purchase the property solely in the name of the eligible first-time buyer. The tax regulations treat you as a single entity if you are married or in a civil partnership. Consequently, first-time buyer relief won't apply if one of you has previously owned a property.

Navigating the intricacies of joint property ownership and stamp duty relief opens up shared ownership possibilities. Discover the options and considerations for maximising your benefits as you embark on this exciting homeownership journey.

Strategies for First-Time Buyers to Minimise Stamp Duty Expenses

While completely avoiding stamp duty as a first-time buyer can be challenging due to limited exceptions, there are a few strategies to consider. One practical approach is to aim for a property valued under, or close to, £300,000. You can avoid paying any Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) by negotiating the price to this threshold.

These are other ways to avoid stamp duty potentially:

  • Purchasing the property in the name of a family member who is a first-time buyer.
  • Buying a property priced at £40,000 or less, as these properties are fully exempt from SDLT.
  • Exploring alternative options such as purchasing a motorhome, caravan, or houseboat, exempt from SDLT regardless of cost.

Unlocking Your Hosting Potential with Houst

Houst offers comprehensive services to empower first-time buyers and property owners. For first-time buyers, Houst provides expert guidance on navigating the complexities of property rentals, ensuring informed decisions and cost savings. Property owners can benefit from Houst's property rental management services, which include professional photography, guaranteed rent, and tailored solutions for optimising the Airbnb yields and rental experience. With Houst by your side, you can unlock your property's full potential and achieve success in the real estate market.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at For guest inquiries, reach out at We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at For guest inquiries, reach out at We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

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