Philip Hammond has today permanently abolished Stamp Duty for first-time buyers purchasing properties up to £300,000 and in high-priced areas on the first £300,000 of houses worth up to £500,000
The change kicked in at one minute past midnight today, says the Treasury briefing paper.
It says: “To ensure that all first-time buyers purchasing a house on Budget day benefit and to avoid disruption, the relief will take effect from Budget day (00:01 hours November 22nd).”
The paper says that in every region of England outside London, and in Wales and Northern Ireland, the first-time buyer will pay no Stamp Duty. Altogether, 80% of first-time buyers will be exempt from Stamp Duty.
In London, the average Stamp Duty bill for a first-time buyer will nearly halve, from £10,500 to £5,500.
The Chancellor estimates the move will cost £3.2bn over the next five and a half years.
Initial reaction from the industry has been mixed, with a number predicting that abolishing Stamp Duty for first-time buyers will simply push up prices at the lower end of the housing ladder.