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The confusion that is Stamp Duty Relief .

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Despite attempts to help first-time buyers, a recent report by L&C Mortgages has revealed that almost a third are still confused by the stamp duty changes.

38% of those surveyed believe that the value of properties should rise in line with steadily increasing property prices. This fear could well be justified as rising house prices could push four million homes outside the stamp duty threshold by 2028.

Over 60% of first-time buyers believe that stamp duty relief does not go far enough; they would prefer stamp duty to be abolished in its entirety for first-time buyers. This is a claim that is gaining gravitas with more homes being priced over the £500,000 threshold.

When 13% of first-time buyers assume that they will save more than £5000, an increase that could not happen under the new rules, it is clear that first-time buyers need a greater understanding of the stamp duty relief system and how it could affect them.

David Hollingworth, from L&C, has commented: “The stamp duty relief is welcomed by many who are looking to buy their first home, but the new rules could be considered complicated to someone who hasn’t been through the process of purchasing a property before.

“In fact, the lack of understanding uncovered through our research could mean that some first-time buyers think that owning their own home is one step further away than it actually is – when in reality, a saving of up to £5,000 could be the difference in getting the required deposit together or dropping to a lower LTV bracket.

“The number of first-time buyers who believe that the tax should be abolished for all those buying their first home, speaks of the need for clarity.

“Of course, abolishing stamp duty for all would mean financial savings for many, but it also highlights the desire for a more simple and transparent system. Going through the steps to buy your first home can feel like a daunting and complicated undertaking – so it’s really important you seek expert advice in order to make sure you’re getting the best deal, and that you’re aware of all your options.”

In a world where people are finding it increasingly difficult to buy property, any relief that is offered should be made completely transparent. Only a system with complete clarity will enable the maximum number of people to benefit.

LEWIS & CO SOLICITORS

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