MSE News

Budget 2018: Stamp duty relief to now include shared ownership properties

First-time buyers in shared ownership homes will pay zero stamp duty on the first £300,000 of any home that costs up to £500,000 with immediate effect, the Chancellor has announced. The change will be retrospective back to the last Budget (22 November 2017).

The changes apply to purchases by first-time buyers in England and Northern Ireland – there's no change for buyers in Scotland or Wales. Until this announcement, first-time buyers purchasing shared ownership properties still had to pay stamp duty, despite the relief offered to all other first-time buyers following the last Budget in November 2017.

This means on a home worth less than £300,000, first-time buyers (both in and out of shared ownership schemes) won't need to pay stamp duty.

For more information on stamp duty, including a calculator for first-time buyers, see our Stamp Duty guide. Plus if you're thinking of buying soon, see our First-Time Buyers' Mortgage Guide.

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty land tax, to give it its full name, is a lump-sum tax that anyone buying a property or land costing more than a set amount has to pay. The rate at which you'll pay the tax varies based on the property price.

What is the shared ownership scheme?

This scheme is for non-homeowners (meaning you could be a first-time buyer, have owned a property in the past but don't currently own one or be an existing shared owner – though in this instance, the stamp duty relief only applies to first-time buyers) who earn £80,000 a year or less (£90,000 or less in London). 

You buy a portion of the property (usually 25%-75%) and a housing association owns the rest, on which you pay rent. For full information, see our Mortgage Schemes guide.

So what's the new system for first-time buyers in shared ownership properties?

In England and Northern Ireland, the new stamp duty rates for first-time buyers purchasing shared ownership properties from today (29 October 2018) costing up to £500,000 are as follows:

  • Up to £300,000 purchase price: 0% stamp duty
  • £300,000.01 to £500,000: 5% (on that portion of the purchase price only)

Previously, they still had to pay the tax even though all other first-time buyers were exempt on the first £300,000 on properties valued at up to £500,000 - a change which came into effect from the previous Budget last November.

The stamp duty relief will be extended to properties already bought by first-time buyers under the shared ownership scheme since 22 November 2017, provided they were valued at £500,000 or under – see below for how to get a refund.

If you buy a property which is part of the shared ownership scheme costing more than £500,000, you WON'T benefit from any change and will be buying under the standard system, which applies to non first-time buyers too (see our Stamp Duty Guide).

Who counts as a first-time buyer?

Anyone who hasn't owned a property before anywhere in the world, whether bought or inherited. 

I'm a first-time buyer but I'm buying with someone who isn't. Do we get the lower rates?

As this is an extension of the stamp duty exemption rules set out in the previous Budget, the same rules apply. So, if you're a first-time buyer jointly purchasing a home with a non first-time buyer, you won't qualify for the first-time buyer rates. You both need to be first-time buyers.

I completed on a shared ownership property after 22 November 2017, how do I reclaim?

You can claim a stamp duty refund within four years of buying your property. You'll need to write to the Stamp Duty Land Tax Office. For full information, visit the HMRC website. 

Is tax relief for first-time buyers the only change to shared ownership?

No, the Government is also launching a "call for evidence" inviting proposals from investors willing to collaborate with it to deliver more shared ownership homes.

MSE weekly email

FREE weekly MoneySaving email

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes simply sign up today – it's spam-free!