First-time buyers continue to benefit from Stamp Duty exemptions.

The latest HMRC data shows 241.300 first-time buyers have made use of the Stamp Duty relief that was introduced in November 2017.

The exemption applies on the first £300,000 of a purchase for properties worth under £500,000.

Not such a good tax for landlords

First-time buyers may be getting a hand onto the property ladder with this relief, but landlords still appear to be getting hit by the additional 3% Stamp Duty rate on additional properties.

Transactions paying the additional rate of Stamp Duty were down 8% annually in the final three months of 2018 to 60,000, HMRC says.

This suggests landlords may be put off by the rising costs in the buy-to-let market as well as the scaling back other perks such as mortgage interest relief and the wear and tear allowance.

The costs of purchasing a property

Whether you are a first-time buyer or landlord, Stamp Duty is just one cost when it comes to buying your home and even if you can get this tax reduced, you should also look at ways to save money elsewhere.

Securing the best mortgage rate and term can also help reduce your home buying costs.

This doesn’t necessarily mean having the largest deposit – although this would usually help access cheaper rates – but shopping around and asking the right questions.

Are you better off with a short or long term fix? Is it worth getting a tracker mortgage while interest rates are relatively low? How much will any fees add to the loan? Is it worth taking a cashback mortgage?

There is also the ultimate question on everyone’s lips at the moment, is it worth getting a mortgage before Brexit?

A mortgage adviser can help discuss, assess and recommend the most suitable products for your needs.

Speak to your financial adviser if you would like some help in finding the best mortgage for you.