You will no doubt have heard that following yesterday’s budget the starting threshold for a first time buyer of residential property paying stamp duty has been raised from £125,000.00 to £250,001.00.

This applies until 25th March 2012. A first time buyer in this instance is a person who has not previously acquired a freehold or leasehold interest in residential property in the UK or an equivalent interest anywhere in the world. Buyers buying together must both qualify in this manner. Where one joint buyer has previously owned property then they do not qualify.

A person who inherited a property does not qualify, nor can someone buy on behalf of another person, the property purchased must be bought by the first time buyer for use as their only or main residence. It is proposed a new layer of duty will be introduced in April next year, applicable to property purchases in excess of £1 million and the rate applicable will be 5%.

John Blake
of Warner Goodman LLP and PPA committee member