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Cooling house prices mean buyers are now exempt from paying stamp duty in more areas

3 min read

Declining property prices over the last year has meant homebuyers no longer have to stamp duty on their property purchases in more areas of the UK. Read on to discover where those hot spots are, and where you should avoid.

  • Alistair Singer Digital Channel Director at My Home Move Conveyancing
    Alistair Singer

    Digital Channel Director

    Published May 30th 2024

aerial view of houses in North Newcastle, North East UK

Analysis of the latest Government house price data looked at the average house price across each area of England, to reveal which areas of the market are still stamp duty exempt.

New research has revealed that because of a decline in property values over the last year, the average homebuyer no longer has to pay stamp duty on their purchase in areas like Gosport, Torbay or Portsmouth. However, if you live in South Derbyshire or North Warwickshire, as the annual rate of house price growth means more home buyers have to budget for stamp duty.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax owed to the government when you purchase a property in England, although based on current thresholds, it only applies to residential property purchases of £250,000 or more. Find out more about stamp duty, the rates and thresholds.

Want to know how much stamp duty is? Use our stamp duty calculator to get estimated costs.

Just a third of local authorities across the UK are stamp duty exempt

Research shows that with the average buyer in England now paying £297,735 for a home, their purchase will unfortunately come with the additional cost of SDLT. However, there are five regions of the nation where the average house price still comes in under the £250,000 threshold - the East Midlands, North East, North West, West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber.

Further analysis of the market at local authority level shows that a third of all local authorities are still home to an average house price that would see you pay no stamp duty.

The highest level of stamp duty free housing is the North East

The North East is home to the highest level of stamp duty exempt housing markets, where all 12 local authorities boast an average house price that falls below the £250,000 SDLT threshold. In Yorkshire and the Humber 87% of local authorities offer the average buyer the opportunity of a purchase without paying stamp duty, while in the North West it’s 83%.

In contrast, despite some sizable reductions in house prices over the last year, not one London borough sits below the stamp duty exempt threshold of £250,000, and only 5% of the South East and 8% of the South West local authorities offering homes under the threshold.

Cooling house prices mean three new areas are more affordable

There is some good news for buyers in the South East and South West: three local authorities across the region have seen the average house price fall below the initial SDLT threshold of £250,000 as a result of property prices cooling over the last year.

In the South East, the average buyer in both Gosport and Portsmouth is no longer required to pay stamp duty on their purchase, with the average house price slipping below the £250,000 threshold. This has also been seen in Torbay, in the South West.

However, if you’re looking to buy in either South Derbyshire or North Warwickshire, as the average house price both rose above the £250,000 SDLT threshold over the last year, it’s likely that you’ll have to pay stamp duty.

This article has been featured in the Property Reporter.

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