Please note that the information contained in this article is for general guidance purposes only and should not be considered as legal, financial, or tax advice.

All information regarding Stamp Duty is taken from the government website and is in-line with the September 2022 Mini-Budget. The laws and regulations related to Stamp Duty are subject to change, and the information in this article may not reflect the latest updates or changes in the law.

The amount payable for Stamp Duty will entirely depend on personal circumstances. Please speak with the solicitor acting on your behalf, who will be more appropriate to advise on this.

Information Source: MoneyHelper

Stamp Duty Land Tax is a levy that impacts individuals owning residential properties in England or Northern Ireland, encompassing both mortgaged and outright property owners.

For property purchasers in Durham, Stamp Duty relief is applicable to properties valued at £425,000 or below. A discounted rate is administered to properties valued between £425,000 and £625,000. Properties exceeding the £625,000 threshold are ineligible for first time buyer relief, subject to standard Stamp Duty rates.

These regulations are presently operative until March 2025, post which the former thresholds will be restored.

Why was Stamp Duty relief introduced for first time buyers in Durham?

Striving to enhance affordability within the property market, the government has introduced alterations to Stamp Duty regulations tailored for initial homebuyers in Durham.

As you might be aware, amassing sufficient funds for mortgage applications, deposits, and conveyancing fees can prove to be quite challenging.

In contrast to current property proprietors who can depend on the equity in their homes, first time buyers in Durham, frequently tenants, might lack a comparable level of equity to assist in meeting these expenditures.

Are there any exceptions to the rule?

As mentioned previously, there are nuances to the Stamp Duty regulations. Properties falling within the £425,000 to £625,000 range attract a percentage on the amount surpassing £425,000, whereas those exceeding £625,000 do not qualify for first time buyer relief.

You should know that even if you’ve inherited a property and haven’t previously owned a home, you do not meet the criteria for first time buyer relief.

The same holds true if you’re jointly purchasing a property with someone who isn’t a first time buyer in Durham or if you’re contemplating investing in a first time buyer buy to let property.

In the latter scenario, Stamp Duty is applicable, with the amount contingent on your specific circumstances. Consulting with your solicitor is advisable for detailed information.

How do I pay stamp duty?

Typically, your solicitor will manage the submission of the Stamp Duty return and oversee the payment process on your behalf. However, if you prefer, you have the option to handle it independently.

Nevertheless, it falls under your responsibility to ensure that the return is submitted within the stipulated timeframe. Even if you are exempt from paying Stamp Duty, filing a return is mandatory unless you meet the criteria for an exemption.

It’s crucial to note that the rates and regulations for Stamp Duty can vary based on the property’s location.

For a comprehensive understanding of the specific tax rules applicable to your property purchase, consulting with your solicitor or conveyancer is advisable.

Additional Costs for First Time Buyers in Durham: What Else to Consider?

Aside from the Stamp Duty outlays, if you’re seeking a first time buyer mortgage in Durham, it’s crucial to account for other potential expenses.

A significant consideration is your deposit, typically constituting at least 5% of the property’s value. Opting for a 10-15% deposit may be advantageous if you have a history of poor credit or are aiming for more favourable interest rates.

Moreover, you should budget for solicitors or conveyancing fees as an inevitable expense.

In addition, there could be various fees and charges specific to your case, such as a mortgage arrangement fee imposed by your mortgage lender, valuation and survey fees, and potentially a fee from a mortgage broker in Durham, should you opt for their services.

General outlays to bear in mind encompass removal costs, potential repairs, furnishing expenses, and home insurance.

It’s worth noting that not all these costs are obligatory and can vary based on your circumstances. For a more precise insight into the potential expenses on your journey to homeownership, seeking advice from a mortgage advisor in Durham is highly recommended.

Date Last Edited: December 6, 2023