London, 27th October, 2014 — Hull is revealed as the most first-time buyer friendly city in the UK, as new figures show that the city has the highest percentage of properties for sale under the £125,000 zero percent stamp duty threshold, according to research carried out by property search engine Placebuzz.com.
With 738 out of 1175 properties currently for sale in Hull being marketed at £125,000 or less, that’s almost two thirds (63%) of all available property stock in the city that is not liable to a stamp duty charge. Properties above £125,000 automatically incur a stamp duty charge of at least 1% of the purchase price.
With recent figures showing an 11% rise in first time buyers, Placebuzz.com looked at the number of properties currently for sale at or under £125,000 in 40 of the major towns and cities across the UK, and ranked them as a percentage of the total number of properties being marketed.
The data revealed that eight of the top 10 towns and cities with the largest percentage of zero percent stamp duty properties were in the north of England. Apart from Hull, more than 50% of properties in Bradford and Barnsley, and more than 40% in Sheffield, Wigan, Middlesbrough, Bolton and Liverpool, were on sale for £125,000 or less. Predictably, London fared the worst with less than half a percent – just 69 properties out of almost 27,000 across the capital – falling into the zero percent stamp duty bracket.
Several of the country’s oldest university towns are decidedly first time buyer unfriendly. Cambridge and Oxford came third and fourth respectively in the list of towns/cities with the lowest percentage of zero percent stamp duty properties, each with less than 1% of all properties for sale. While, Edinburgh fared little better at sixth, with just 4% of homes for sale in the lower price bracket.
The figures also highlighted a gulf within certain regions of the country. York and Leeds are separated by a mere 14 miles as the crow flies, yet in terms of being first-time buyer friendly, they’re worlds apart, with less than one in 20 properties for sale in York at £125,000 or less, compared to one in three in Leeds.
The following table shows the towns or cities with the highest percentage of properties for sale at £125,000 or less:
The following table shows the towns or cities with the lowest percentage of properties for sale at £125,000 or less:
Andy Hatoum, co-founder of Placebuzz.com, comments: “Our research highlights the reason why campaigns calling for an overhaul of stamp duty charges are gaining traction in the run up to next year’s general election.
“Properties falling within the stamp duty exemption bracket are now at dangerously low levels in many areas, particularly in the south and midlands.
“Unsurprisingly, first-time buyers or those looking for a bargain, have greater options in the north of the country, with higher numbers of properties for sale that are unencumbered by the added financial burden of stamp duty costs.
“More needs to be done to help first-time buyers. Although numbers are rising, getting onto the property ladder is still out of reach for many.”