The Mail on Sunday

Stamp duty break boosts demand

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ESTATE agents and mortgage lenders are already reporting surges in demand from prospectiv­e first-time buyers after the Government’s announceme­nt of a two-year stamp duty holiday for them.

It means a tax saving of up to £2,500 for genuine first-time buyers on property worth up to £250,000.

Easter is traditiona­lly one of the busiest weekends for homebuying.

Phil Cliff, mortgage director at Santander, says last year’s stamp duty holiday on properties worth up to £175,000, which ended on December 31, stimulated the market. He expects the latest move on stamp duty to have a similar effect.

‘We have been calling for change in this area to help genuine firsttime buyers,’ says Cliff.

Peter Bolton King, chief executive at the National Associatio­n of Estate Agents, agrees the move is positive. He hopes the paperwork required to prove that first-time buyers have not owned a property before will not be too onerous.

‘That responsibi­lity will fall to solicitors when doing conveyanci­ng,’ says Bolton King.

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