Saving up for stamp duty

23 November 2016
What was claimed

Almost three-quarters of first time buyers say paying upfront costs like stamp duty will be more of a challenge than paying for a mortgage deposit.

Our verdict

That’s not quite what the poll said. 72% of potential first-time buyers said that paying for upfront costs like stamp duty and removals would be ‘difficult’. 69% said saving for a mortgage deposit would also be ‘difficult’. 34% said it would be ‘difficult’ to meet the monthly mortgage payments.

“Property experts are calling for a reform or even abolition of the ‘pernicious’ tax [stamp duty] in a bid to help people buy a home.

Almost three quarters of first-time buyers (72 per cent) cited paying the upfront cost as more difficult than raising a deposit (69 per cent) or making monthly mortgage payments (34 per cent)”.

Daily Express, 22 November 2016

It’s not correct that three quarters of first-time buyers said paying stamp duty on a property purchase would be more difficult than raising a deposit.

69% of first-time homebuyers who responded to an online poll said that raising the money for a mortgage deposit on a house would be ‘difficult’.

72% of them said that paying for other upfront costs, like stamp duty and removal costs, would be ‘difficult’ too.

The Daily Express appears to have misunderstood a line in a press release from Yorkshire Building Society, which commissioned the poll from YouGov. It said:

“More would-be first time buyers said paying for up-front costs including stamp duty would be difficult (72%) compared to raising a deposit (69%) and making monthly mortgage payments (34%).”

It would make sense that roughly the same number of people would be worried about the upfront costs of paying a mortgage deposit as would be worried about paying for other upfront costs. All these costs have to be paid in quick succession out of the same pool of savings.

These results aren't a precise guide to how all first-time buyers would think about stamp duty and mortgage deposits. The views of the people in the survey might be slightly different from the rest of the population, so it's best to treat two findings that are very close together as roughly the same.

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