Take your pick: top UK stamp duty exemption hotpots revealed

9 September 2020 | Investment

Research by Andrews Property Group has identified the 10 UK towns and cities where 99% of homes currently listed for sale will be exempt from stamp duty for first-time buyers.

In light of the stamp duty holiday announced by the government on July 8, Andrews looked at properties currently listed for sale in over 100 major UK towns and cities and dubbed them the ‘99% club’.

Bootle in the North West of England was the only town which is currently stamp duty exempt for buyers who don’t have a second home or buy-to-let, with all 106 properties on the market currently below the £500,000 threshold.

The 10 towns that are members of the 99% club are all in the north of England, with four towns – Bootle, Blackpool, Wigan and St Helens – in the North West, and four towns – Middlesbrough, Gateshead, Darlington and Hartlepool – in the North East.

“Our research shows just how impactful the Government’s stamp duty holiday has been, and many towns are benefitting from a near stamp duty free environment,” says David Westgate, group chief executive at Andrews Property Group.

“The stamp duty freeze has lit the touchpaper and galvanised the property market. There was so much pent-up demand during lockdown, and we expected to see a rebound in transactions when restrictions were lifted, but the level of buyer and seller activity we’ve seen across the south west region has exceeded expectations.” 

Hull is the only city on the list with at least 1,000 properties currently for sale. Of the 1,209 properties, 1,203 would be exempt from property tax for first-time buyers or those without a second home or rental property.

In contrast, London, Winchester and Bath have the lowest percentage of properties on the market that are exempt from stamp duty, although this means more first-time buyers and home movers are eligible for the maximum £15,000 stamp duty saving.

Just over a third of properties for sale in the capital (36.1%) are potentially stamp duty exempt, meaning that almost two-thirds of London buyers could enjoy the maximum £15,000 tax saving.

For sellers who are hanging on to see if prices continue upwards, Westgate advises not to wait. “Demand is high at the moment with plenty of motivated buyers keen to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday and competitive mortgage rates,” he says.

“No one knows how long this mini-boom is going to last, and house price growth is unlikely to continue at its current rate, particularly with the furlough scheme due to end on 31 October. For buyers and sellers alike, there hasn’t been a better time to complete transactions.”

The following table shows the 10 UK towns and cities where at least 99% of properties currently for sale are exempt from stamp duty:

Town/City

Region

No. of properties for sale at £500k or less

Total number of properties currently for sale

% of properties for sale at £500k or less

Bootle

North West

106

106

100.0

Grimsby

Yorkshire and the Humber

796

798

99.7

Middlesbrough

North East

416

418

99.5

Hull

East Yorkshire

1,203

1,209

99.5

Gateshead

North East

196

197

99.5

Blackpool

North West

763

768

99.3

Darlington

North East

369

372

99.2

Wigan

North West

238

240

99.2

St Helens

North West

448

452

99.1

Hartlepool

North East

382

386

99.0

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–> This post has originally been featured in Property Investor Today.