Stamp Duty Explained: Everything You Need to Know About Stamp Duty in South West London


If you are buying a home in Balham, Battersea, Clapham, Wandsworth, Earlsfield or Tooting Bec you will probably need to pay stamp duty. The amount of stamp duty you pay will depend on the purchase price of your new home and whether you are a first-time buyer, purchasing a second home or buy-to-let or a non-UK resident.

According to the property portal Rightmove, the average sales price in these south west London areas is currently around £900,000, meaning that the stamp duty due could be a substantial amount to factor into your house move budget.

Since the stamp duty thresholds changed in September 2022, first-time buyers and home movers should check the new thresholds and higher rates in England and Northern Ireland. To help you understand more about the tax and how much might be due on your south west London property, we answer some frequently asked questions about stamp duty.

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is a tax which must be paid when you buy residential property or land in England and Northern Ireland. In Wales, it is Land Transaction Tax (LTT) and Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) in Scotland. Stamp duty applies to leasehold and freehold properties, whether you’re buying outright or with a mortgage.

It’s calculated based on the purchase price, but your status matters too. For example, first-time buyers may qualify for tax relief on stamp duty. Stamp duty on second homes is typically charged at 3% above the usual rate. As a non-UK resident, expect to pay an extra 2% above standard rates.

Do I need to pay stamp duty if I’m selling property?

No, stamp duty is paid by your buyer. However, if you are selling and buying, you must pay stamp duty on your purchase.

How much stamp duty will I pay on my south west London purchase?

Stamp duty rates increase with the property price, meaning you pay a higher percentage as the property value rises. However, you only pay the higher percentage for the proportion of the price in each band. If that sounds confusing, see the table below for details.

Rates of stamp duty thresholds

The following stamp duty rates will apply if the home you’re buying is the only residential property you own.

Property value   SDLT rates  
Up to £250,000   0%  
The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000)   5%  
The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)   10%  
The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million)   12% 


For example, if you were buying a property in Wandsworth for £950,000 you would pay nothing on the first £250,000, then 5% on the next £675,000, and 10% on the rest of the selling price, making a total bill of £36,250.

To find out exactly how much stamp duty you’ll pay on your south-west London home, use a stamp duty calculator tool such as this one on the government website. It will give you an accurate prediction based on your property and circumstances.

How much stamp duty will I pay if I buy a second home?

If you already own at least one property, you will usually pay an additional 3% on top of the standard rate. Read more on the government website.

If you decide to buy your new home before selling your existing one, you will own two properties, so you must pay the surcharge. However, you can claim a refund if you sell your previous property within three years (36 months).

Rates of stamp duty thresholds for second homes

Refer to these stamp duty rates if you are buying an additional property.

Property value   SDLT rates  
Up to £250,000   3% 
The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000)   8%  
The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)   13%  
The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million)   15% 


If you decided to buy a second property in Wandsworth for £950,000 you would pay 3% on the first £250,000, then 8% on the next £675,000, and 13% on the rest of the house price, making a total bill of £64,750. Always check the government SDLT calculator for a reliable estimate based on your property and situation.

What if I’m a first-time buyer?

You can claim a discount (stamp duty relief) if the property is your first home and costs up to £625,000. You won’t have to pay stamp duty on the first £425,000 of the purchase. Then you’ll pay 5% on the remaining amount up to £625,000.

To qualify for first-time buyers’ relief, you and anyone you are buying with must have never owned a residential property in the UK or abroad. If the home you are buying costs over £625,000 or is a buy-to-let, you cannot claim the relief and will pay the same rates as people who have bought property before.

What if I’m an overseas resident?

Non-UK residents usually pay an additional 2% surcharge on the stamp duty they are liable to pay, but specific rules apply. Read more on the government website.

Can I reduce the stamp duty I need to pay?

The best way to reduce your stamp duty bill is to negotiate the property’s asking price, especially if you can avoid a higher tax band. If you are buying a new build, some companies will pay the stamp duty for you as an incentive.

Stamp duty is payable on the property purchase, so if you are buying removable fixtures, like carpets, curtains or white-goods, from the vendor, you can deduct this amount from the purchase price to lower your stamp duty bill. Don’t be tempted to inflate the price for removable items, as HMRC will check. We recommend that you seek the advice of your conveyancer.

There are several circumstances where stamp duty may not be payable, including the following:

– The transfer of property during a divorce or separation.

– Property received under the terms of a will.

– The gifting of a mortgage-free property, but if you take over some or all of an existing mortgage, stamp duty may be payable.

Can I add stamp duty to my mortgage?

You can add stamp duty to your mortgage – but remember, you will pay interest on it. Adding stamp duty could also affect your loan-to-value ratio. Consider every angle carefully before making a decision.

How and when do I pay my stamp duty?

Stamp duty must be paid on your home within 14 days of the completion date. Otherwise, you could receive a fine. If you pay stamp duty late but within 12 months, the charge you’ll need to pay is 10% of the stamp duty due, with a £300 cap. Usually, your solicitor will file the return and pay the stamp duty, adding the amount to their final bill. But it is your responsibility to make sure the tax is paid.

Find out more

If you’re looking at property in south west London, we’d love to help you find your dream home in Balham, Clapham, Battersea, Wandsworth, Earlsfield, Tooting Bec or elsewhere. We’d also be happy to advise about stamp duty or other aspects of buying and selling property. Contact us today.