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Take a stamp duty holiday while you still can

The stamp duty holiday, which was brought in to kick start the stagnant housing market late last year is coming to an end on December 31. The holiday applies to anyone looking for a property worth £175,000 or less – so the discount is worth as much as £1750.

Buyers such as investors, first-time buyers, those looking to buy a small holiday home or a house for their children, have all been reaping the benefits of the saving for more than a year. It is estimated that more than 25% of first-time buyers who purchased a property between September 2008 and August 2009 did not pay stamp duty as a result – getting them on the property ladder.

But after December 31, all buyers will have to pay the standard stamp duty rates of 1% tax on properties priced between £125,000 and £250,000, 3% on properties over £250,000 and 4% for those above £500,000.

Simon Wilkinson of The Wilkinson Partnership said: "House purchases can take months to complete but in many cases it is possible to push it through much quicker so there is still time for buyers to take advantage of this saving.

"Some buyers and sellers over the threshold of £175,000 may think that they are unaffected – but beware, if they are in a chain of transactions, it could still easily affect someone else in their chain. It is make-up-your-mind time for those considering buying property!"

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