Stamp duty holiday: use it or lose it

02 September 2009 / by Rachael Stiles

Homebuyers who want to make the most of the current suspension of stamp duty on properties worth up to £175,000 should 'use it or lose it' experts have said.

Stamp duty is only suspended until the end of the year, and is only applicable to house purchases that are completed before the deadline, so mortgage advisors L&C Mortgages are urging buyers to move fast if they wish to take advantage of the savings to be made.

L&C Mortgages says that with the stamp duty holiday worth as much as a £1750 saving on the cost of buying a house, it could provide valuable financial assistance, especially to first time buyer mortgage customers, who also have to find a deposit.

Since the demise of the 100 per cent mortgage, and it's very tentative comeback to the market, first time buyers have been facing the challenge of scraping together much larger deposits in order to secure a mortgage.

The average mortgage now requires a deposit of at least 15 per cent, L&C says, so the stamp duty break could offer some relief to those struggling to raise enough funds to buy their first home.

Commenting on the encroaching stamp duty deadline, David Hollingworth, head of communications at L&C Mortgages, said:

"As house purchases can take months to complete it's make your mind up time for those considering buying a property. With house prices now holding up more strongly and in some cases rising, the stamp duty holiday will prove to act as a greater incentive as the deadline approaches."

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