Quarter of first-time buyers unprepared for stamp duty costs

Average first-time buyer deposit now £27,500

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The Independent Online

Around 22 per cent of first-time buyers are not taking into account the cost of stamp duty before making an offer on a home, according to TSB.

Similarly, one in seven buying their second or third homes are not setting aside specific amounts to cover stamp duty.

Homehunters are most aware of stamp duty in the East of England (50 per cent), the south west (49 per cent) and south east (48 per cent). One in four in the north west and Wales are failing to plan for it before making an offer.

The research also found the average stamp duty is now over £5,000 which has meant one in ten have capped their bid for a property so that they fall into a lower stamp duty bracket. 

Although personal savings, mortgage extensions and loans from family are the most popular ways to cover the cost of stamp duty, aound 10 per cent of first-time buyers use a credit card to pay.

Ian Ramsden, TSB's Director of Mortgages, said: "With the expenditure on stamp duty equivalent to a tenth of the average deposit, it is important for potential homebuyers to factor it in to their purchase decision at an early stage. 

Meanwhile, a second report suggests that the average first-time buyer purchase price in January was a new high of £155,832, up £5,000 over the previous month.

The figures from LSL Property Services indicate that as a result the average first-time buyer deposit also rose to a record level of £27,519 and that deposits are growing as a proportion of income. The average deposit represented just over 75 per cent of a first-time buyers income in January 2014, up from 74.7 per cent in December 2013.

David Newnes, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, part of LSL Property Services group, said: "While the property market has been firing forwards, wage growth has been stuck in the mud of the economic recovery. Prices for first-time buyer properties have been marching steadily upwards, and have now reached a new record. 

The report also showed that:

* London and the South East were home to 38 per cent of UK first-time buyer transactions

* The average deposit was £64,160 in London, compared to £13,393 in Northern Ireland and £13,814 in Wales

* First-time buyers also paid the most for their homes in London at £282,537 - the cheapest region was Northern Ireland at £87,839.