More than 180,500 first-time buyers have benefited from Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) relief on their new homes, statistics published by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) today reveal.

The money-saving initiative, known as First Time Buyers Relief (FTBR), was introduced on 22 November 2017, and the figures, published by HMRC on the eve of the one-year anniversary, show that the estimated amount saved by buyers totals more than £426 million.

HMRC’s quarterly Stamp Duty Statistics report found that the relief was claimed on more than 58,800 transactions between July and September this year – an increase of 12 per cent compared to the previous quarter.

Liable residential transactions have fallen by around 61,500 since last year, with most of this fall being seen in the under £500,000 band. The tax relief can be used when buying a residential property where the purchase price is no more than £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland, as long as the purchaser does not own any other properties and intends to use it as their main residence.

In last month’s Budget, the relief was extended to first time buyers purchasing through approved shared ownership schemes who choose to pay SDLT in stages, rather than on the full market value of the property. This has been retrospectively applied to eligible property transactions since last November.

Mel Stride MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said: “These statistics show that the government was right to offer a helping hand to first time buyers. Without this investment, more than 180,500 new homeowners may have struggled to get onto the property ladder. Maintaining the status quo was not an option.”

This is welcomed news for NAEA Propertymark, after calling for first-time buyer stamp duty relief in our Autumn Budget representation to HM Treasury back in September 2017.

Speaking last year, Mark Hayward, NAEA Propertymark Chief Executive commented: “The announcement today from the Government to abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers will have a positive impact on the market. It’s a smart move to ensure the dream of homeownership for young people can become a reality and will help buyers across the UK, including London and the South East where property prices are higher.

“We do however need to realise that this move will increase the demand for first-time buyer properties and if we don’t have the supply it will push prices up. We have seen this in areas where Help to Buy is offered, as it attracts a great deal of interest from first-time buyers.”

Artcle from NAEA