It's extremely difficult for first time buyers to be able to take their first step onto the property ladder.
Stamp Duty Land Tax makes a hefty dent into any savings put aside to purchase a house. In order to help first time buyers the government raised the SDLT exemption to £175,000.
Currently, buyers purchasing properties over £175,000 are liable to pay 1% of the pruchase price in SDLT.
Over £250,000 to £500,000, 3% is required and
Over £500,000 4%, is required
BUT from the end of the year the threshold will return to £125,000. This will cost the buyer an extra £500 on a £175,000 property.
So, if you're waiting for a property purchase to complete this year, you may want to try to push it on a little quicker. I'd rather have £500 to treat myself for Christmas than let it go in Stamp Duty Land Tax!!
For further details - Home Buying to Get More Costly by the End of the Year