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Written by rosalind renshaw

An extra four in ten first-time buyers have been exempt from paying Stamp Duty as a result of the Government raising the starting threshold from £125,000 to £250,000 over the past two years.

The calculation is by the Halifax and relates to the Stamp Duty holiday due to finish at the end of this week, on March 24. 
The temporary increase in the threshold has meant that 95% of first-time buyers have not had to pay Stamp Duty, says the Halifax.
It estimates 150,000 first-time buyers have benefited from the increase in the threshold, with approximately 380,000 first-time buyers all told paying no Stamp Duty.
Returning the starting threshold to £125,000 will result in nearly 45% of first-time buyers paying the duty.
The South-East and Greater London, says the Halifax, have benefited most from the change with around seven in ten first-time buyers escaping Stamp Duty as a result of the raising of the threshold.
In contrast, the North and Northern Ireland have benefitted the least with only one in six first-time buyers exempt from the tax as a result of the increase.
Only 4% of first-time buyers in Greater London will be exempt from Stamp Duty when the starting threshold returns to £125,000. Four in five first-time buyers in the South-East will pay the tax.
The proportions of first-time buyers paying Stamp Duty will be much lower in other parts of the country with less than one in five paying the tax in the North and Northern Ireland.