First time buyers’ guide to stamp duty

Published on
3 June 2021

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty is a form of tax you have to pay when buying a property or piece of land that’s priced over a certain value.

Do first time buyers pay stamp duty?

Yes, you should expect to pay stamp duty on your first home.

How much stamp duty do I need to pay?

The amount you’ll pay depends on where in the UK you’re planning on buying a property and how much that property costs. Check out for a really useful stamp duty calculator to help you work out the amount.

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Why have I been hearing so much about stamp duty recently?

Stamp duty has been in the news recently as part of Government measures during the pandemic. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the threshold at which you start paying stamp duty in England was temporarily increased, known as a stamp duty ‘holiday.’

What is a stamp duty ‘holiday’?

A stamp duty 'holiday' makes changes to the threshold at which you start paying - and it has been extended until June 30 in England and Wales. In Scotland it ended on March 31.

How does this apply to me as a first time buyer?

Here in Cumbria, it means that until June 30 no stamp duty will be due on the first £500,000 of any primary residential property. This will apply whether you’re a first time buyer or have previously owned a property.

Between July 1 and September 30, no stamp duty will be due on the first £250,000 of any primary residential property.

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When does the stamp duty ‘holiday’ end?

From 1 October normal stamp duty rates will apply.

What should I expect to pay?

Normal stamp duty rates depend on the value of the property. From July 1 for properties between £250,000 and £925,000 you would pay 5% of the value.

When do I pay stamp duty?

Since March 2019 you have 14 days - reduced from 30 - from the date of completion to pay stamp duty.

How do I pay stamp duty?

Usually your solicitor will deal with the stamp duty return and any payment due for you, although you can do it yourself. Either way, you’re responsible for making sure it’s all submitted on time. You must still submit a return (unless exempt) even if you won’t need to pay any stamp duty.

If you have any questions about stamp duty for first time buyers, please get in touch. Keen to read more? Check out our article on the different types of mortgages available to first time buyers.

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