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Stamp duty: Buyers to pay more taxes as 4.3 million homes pushed into higher bracket

Stamp duty: First-time buyers are now spending an average of £225,000 to buy their first home. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Getty
Stamp duty: First-time buyers are now spending an average of £225,000 to buy their first home. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Getty (Jeff Greenberg via Getty Images)

Across the UK, surging house prices have pushed 4.3 million homes into higher stamp duty brackets, leaving prospective buyers to pay more taxes.

Around 1.5 million more properties across the UK are now subject to stamp duty or its equivalent tax compared with two years ago as house prices rise, according to Zoopla.

The average UK house price has increased by around £29,000 since March 2020 to stand at £249,700, Zoopla said.

In total, 3.5 million homes in England and Northern Ireland have moved up into a higher stamp duty threshold. A further 815,000 properties have moved over property tax thresholds in Scotland and Wales.

Read more: House prices: UK's property hotspots revealed

Gráinne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, said: “Buyer demand has been very strong ever since the end of the first lockdown in 2020, and the start of this year has been no exception. This demand, coupled with constrained levels of supply has put upward pressure on pricing — with the average property now worth an additional £29,000 compared to March 2020.

“This has pushed millions more homes into higher stamp duty brackets, meaning that if they come to market, there is an additional cost for buyers.”

Rising house prices are also having an effect on those keen to get their foot on the property ladder.

First time buyers are now spending an average of £225,000 to buy their first home, an increase of £27,000 compared to two years ago.

This means that this group of prospective buyers now require an additional £4,000 for a deposit, despite average annual earnings increasing by only £2,704 over the last two years.

They also need an additional £5,000 in annual household earnings or income in order to secure a mortgage, which equates to £417 per month.

Read more: One in three struggle to access credit in UK as lenders refuse loans

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The stamp duty holiday had a nasty sting in the tail. Hundreds of thousands of people have actually paid more tax, thanks to the huge hike in house prices fuelled by the tax break.

"These higher tax bills are piling yet more pressure on buyers, who are already facing the stress of rampant house price rises, hikes in mortgage rates and runaway bills, which make it increasingly difficult to cover the cost of the mortgage."

A stamp duty holiday was in place for much of the pandemic and was phased out last year.

Stamp duty receipts in England and Northern Ireland reached £18.6bn in the year to March 2022, an increase of £6.1bn on the previous year.

Stamp duty applies in England and Northern Ireland. In Wales, the land transaction tax (LTT) has replaced stamp duty and in Scotland the land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT) is applied to property purchases.

Watch: Will UK house prices ever fall?