The high street bank Halifax, which is part of the Lloyds Banking Group, partly owned by taxpayers, has announced that it will pay up to a maximum of £2500 to cover the cost of stamp duty on properties purchased through them with a value of between £125,000-£250,000. This follows on from their similar offer last year when the government brought to an end its stamp duty ‘holiday’ for first time buyers.
There is no stamp duty payable on property purchases of less than £125,000 then is 1% between that figure and £250,000, 3% up t0 £500,000, 4% up to £1 million, 5% up to £2 million and 7% on anything above that. The then Labour government in 2009 suspended all stamp duty for anyone who bought a house worth £250,000 or less and who had never owned a property in the UK before, but this scheme came to an end in the spring of 2012.
The Labour Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has called for the scheme to be reinstated but the current Conservative government have given no indication at all that this may be a possibility. The Halifax are offering a stamp duty cash back to first time buyers who take up any of their mortgage products.
They are currently offering 3.24% with no fee on their 2 year fixed rate mortgage for those who have a deposit of 20% or more. Those who can only raise a 15% deposit will have a rate of 3.79% and the 1% stamp duty will be paid directly to the buyers solicitors on the completion of the sale. The offer starts this week and Halifax hope it will give a much needed boost to the recovery of the UK housing market which is proving to be much slower than anticipated.