Chancellor Rishi Sunak says the stamp duty holiday on properties up to £500,000 will be extended from March 31 to June 30; from July 1, the holiday will apply only on properties up to £250,000 until the end of September.
It will not be until October 1 that the pre-Covid stamp duty thresholds and levels will resume.
This means that the maximum saving for buyers from the start of July until the end of September will be just £2,500 - sizeably less than the £15,000 saving possible under the current holiday, which continues until the end of June. So far no details have been released on whether these dates will end with the hated 'cliff edge' or will be tapered to avoid a last-minute disappointment for some buyers.
Making the announcement this afternoon, Sunak said: "The cut in stamp duty I announced last summer has helped hundreds of thousands of people buy a home and supported the economy at a critical time. But due to the sheer volume of transactions we're seeing, many new purchases won't complete in time for the end of March."
Chancellor Sunak has also confirmed that there will be government-guaranteed 95 per cent mortgage loans available from next month, on the purchase of properties up to the value of £600,000.
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