Buyers of homes worth up to £175,000 will not have to pay stamp duty, Alistair Darling has announced, as he promised the country would "get through" the economic downturn.
In a surprise move to try to revive the housing market, the embattled Chancellor said that the £125,000 threshold at which buyers pay 1 per cent stamp duty will be raised from tomorrow and frozen at the new level for one year.
Announcing the freeze, Mr Darling said: "We are facing difficult times - we are in a situation where you are facing the combination of the credit crunch with high oil and food prices. We haven’t seen this since the 1930s."
The stamp duty freeze - which will save buyers a maximum of £1,750 - came as the first major move in the attempted autumn re-launch by Gordon Brown, who also announced a range of measures to try and help home owners who face having their properties repossessed because of the credit crisis.
Stamp duty is currently charged at 1 per cent on properties sold for between £175,000 and £250,000, with the tax jumping to 3 per cent above this level, before rising to 4 per cent on homes worth more than £500,000.
Segments taken from Telegraph.co.uk