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Budget update: Chancellor's leg up for first time property buyers

by David Parton

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As predicted by Access Legal from Shoosmiths earlier today, Alistair Darling's Budget has made it easier for first time buyers to get on the property ladder.

"Any change to the current property purchase tax system aimed at benefiting first time buyers is to be welcomed."
David Parton, Partner & Head of Conveyancing

The Chancellor announced two significant changes to the application of Stamp Duty Land Tax to the purchase of residential property.</p">

First time buyer relief

The Budget helps anyone over 18 buying a residential property – whether freehold, leasehold or commonhold – either on their own or with a friend, partner or spouse between 25 March 2010 and 25 March 2012.

Where none of the buyers have previously ever owned an interest in land anywhere else in the world and where the purchase price is no more than £250,000, they will be able to claim relief from the liability to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax following completion.

Higher rate in 2011 for £1m properties

Any residential purchase for £1m or more completing on or after 6 April 2011 will result in a liability to Stamp Duty Land Tax of 5%, increasing the rate applying prior to that date by 1%.

Access Legal from Shoosmiths partner and head of conveyancing David Parton said: "Any change to the current property purchase tax system aimed at benefiting first time buyers is to be welcomed, particularly in light of current property value levels and difficulties getting mortgage finance.

"Our regret is that it is tightly restricted to transactions where all the buyers must be first time buyers."

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