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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Sunak vows to maintain first-time buyer Stamp Duty exemption

The Conservatives appear to have abandoned plans to reverse Stamp Duty thresholds for first-time buyers if the party returns to power after the General Election.

The first-time buyer Stamp Duty exemption was increased from £300,000 to £425,000 at the 2022 mini Budget but was set to be reversed at the end of March 2025.

But Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has now said the threshold will remain, according to reports.

This has put the Tories at odds with Labour after Shawdow Chancellor Rachel Reeves refused to match the policy.

Commenting on the reports, Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla, said:  "Our analysis of what first-time buyers are looking to buy on Zoopla shows eight in 10 would pay no Stamp Duty if the current measures were made permanent. 

“The greatest beneficiaries are those looking to buy across southern England where up to half of first-time buyers are looking to buy homes priced between £250,000 and £425,000.”

Zoopla’s research found that 7% of first-time buyers would still pay full Stamp Duty, most of whom are looking in London and 15% would pay partial Stamp Duty.   

A return to the old rules and price thresholds would have seen 30% paying the tax.

Donnell added: “The primary challenge for first-time buyers remains the need to afford higher mortgage rates and pass mortgage affordability tests. 

“For many, this means injecting more equity into home purchases to reduce the level of income needed to buy. This impacts buyers across southern England where house prices are highest and average deposits are over £60,000.”

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