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How big an impact will stamp duty concession for first time buyers have?

News that stamp duty has been abolished when buying a first home up to a value of £300,000 in England, Northern Ireland and temporarily, at least, in Wales (Wales will consider amending its new land transaction tax) was welcomed by those looking to purchase their first home. 

 

This means that for properties costing up to £500,000, no stamp duty will be paid on the first £300,000.

But Lender Nationwide said many buyers had already paid little or none of the tax as many properties - primarily outside of The South of England, were being sold below the previous threshold of £125,000 anyway. 

"The decision in the Budget to abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers ... is likely to have only a modest impact on overall demand," said Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist.

"The potential savings are more substantial for borrowers where house prices are higher, especially in London and the South East."

The Office for Budget Responsibility said last week some of the benefit would be passed on to existing home owners through higher house prices, although the movement would be quite small.