In the past year, 69,100 transactions were eligible for Stamp Duty Land Tax relief, saving first-time homebuyers about £160 million.

HMRC recently released the Annual Stamp Tax Statistics for the 2017-2018 financial year. First-time buyers’ relief started in November 2017 and has helped many buyers purchase their first homes. As we all know, buying a home is a big step, so the UK government has been assisting first-time buyers with these stamp duty cuts.

When purchasing homes for less than £300,000, first-time buyers pay no Stamp Duty Land Tax. If the purchase price is between £300,000 and £500,000, homebuyers pay £5,000 less than standard rates on the amount over £300,000.

The numbers behind stamp duty relief

From the introduction of first-time buyers’ relief last November to the end of the financial year, 19% of all residential transactions were first-time buyers who claimed the relief. In that time frame, the total amount of stamp duty relief was estimated at £160 million.

The mean average relieved per transaction was £2,300. London saw the highest average of relief at £4,300, reflecting higher property prices. Birmingham saw the highest number of claims with 1,380, while Leeds followed with 1,060 claims.

First-time homebuyers on the rise

The first-time buyer market has accelerated since the stamp duty changes last autumn. Even though many UK property market figures have been down lately, the number of first-time buyers recently topped 150,000 for the third consecutive year and reached a 12-year high with 175,500.

Besides the stamp duty relief, there are additional benefits when buying your first home, like the Help to Buy equity loan scheme. On top of that, recent figures show an upswing in the number of mortgages targeted specifically for first-time buyers. And a recent poll even found that developers and housebuilders believe the first-time buyer sector has more potential for growth over the next few years than any other house buying sector, so the future continues to look bright for first-time homebuyers in the UK.