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Stamp duty rates

Stamp duty rates depend on the value of your home - and first-time buyers may not need to pay at all. Find out current stamp duty rates in England and Northern Ireland in this guide.

In this article
First-time buyer stamp duty rates Home-mover stamp duty rates Buy-to-let stamp duty rates

When you buy a house or flat, you'll need to pay stamp duty - unless you're a first-time buyer buying a home for less than £300,000.

Below, we explain how stamp duty works for first-time buyers and home movers.

Different rates apply in Scotland and Wales, so if you're buying in either of those countries check out our guides on LBTT (Scottish stamp duty) and LTT (Welsh stamp duty)

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First-time buyer stamp duty rates

In the 2017 Autumn Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond abolished stamp duty for first-time buyers purchasing a home for £300,000 or less, effective immediately. 

Those buying properties for between £300,000 and £500,000, meanwhile, won't have to pay stamp duty on the first £300,000. The excess between £300,000 and £500,000 will be charged at 5%.

First-time buyers purchasing homes for more than £500,000 will have to pay stamp duty at the standard rates - see the 'home movers' section below.

The rules mean that first-time buyers could save up to £5,000 on their stamp duty bills. The table below explains how much you'll save based on the price of your property. 

First-time buyer stamp duty FAQs

We've answered the most common questions about the stamp duty tax relief for first-time buyers.

The first-time buyer stamp duty exemption only applies if you're planning to use the property as your main residence. You cannot use it when buying a property you plan to let out, or don't plan to live in yourself. 

To qualify for the first-time buyer stamp duty relief, you must never have owned residential property before. Owning residential property means holding an interest in a dwelling, whether freehold or leasehold. So situations where you may not be a first-time buyer include if you've previously:
- inherited residential property
- been gifted residential property
- owned a home but then sold it
- owned a buy-to-let residential property
- owned a share of a property with someone else.

The criteria requires first-time buyers to have never owned residential property before. So if you've ever owned a property - even if you then sold it and are now renting - you wouldn't qualify for the relief. You also won't qualify if you own or previously owned a buy-to-let residential property.

If you've ever owned a residential property anywhere in the world, you won't be considered a first-time buyer. This is true of other parts of the UK - including Scotland and Wales - as well as abroad.

While the stamp duty relief is available for 'first time buyers', the criteria is whether you have owned a property before - so if you previously inherited a home or were given one as a gift, you wouldn't qualify for the first-time buyer relief.

Under the legislation, anyone who has ever owned an 'interest' in a residential property is excluded from the relief. Shared ownership schemes, or buying together with a family member or partner, would count within this criteria.

If you're buying with another person as a joint application, every single purchaser must be a first-time buyer. Otherwise, stamp duty will be payable on the property at the standard rates. 

Home-mover stamp duty rates

Stamp duty is tiered, meaning that you pay different rates on different portions of the property price. You'll be liable to pay stamp duty when your property sale completes, although you'll have 30 days to pay the bill. 

When you buy a property you're planning to live in (and you've owned a property before), you won't pay any stamp duty on the first £125,000. You'll then pay 2% on the portion up to £250,000 and 5% on the portion up to £925,000. Between that point and £1.5m, it's 10% - then 12% on anything over £1.5m.

05 Stamp duty-01

Take a look at this example to see how it works:

  • Property price: £275,000
  • Portion 1: £0 - £125,000 - 0% tax, so total paid for this chunk of the purchase price = £125,000
  • Portion 2: £125,000.01 - £250,000 - 2% tax (£2,500) + £125,000 = £127,500
  • Portion 3: £250,000.01 - £275,000 - 5% tax (£1,250) + £25,000 = £26,250
  • Total paid: £278,750 (£3,750 of which is stamp duty)

Find out more: to find out exactly how much stamp duty you'll pay on the property you're buying, use our stamp duty calculator

Buy-to-let stamp duty rates

Anyone buying a second home or buy-to-let property - ie any property that won't be your primary residence - now has to pay an extra 3% on each tier of stamp duty. Find out exactly how much you'll have to pay using our buy-to-let stamp duty calculator.

Correct as of date of publication.



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