Halifax deal helps first-time buyers meet Stamp Duty costs

Halifax has launched a first-time buyer product designed to cover purchasers\' Stamp Duty costs for properties valued between £175,000 and £250,000.

Buyers will receive 1% of the purchase price of their property on completion of the mortgage deal, which is available on a five-year fixed rate.

The product is exclusively available to first-time buyers and under its provisions, cheques will be issued directly to conveyancers immediately after mortgage deals are completed.

A survey by Halifax shows that only a quarter of first-time buyers adequately research and budget for Stamp Duty.

A further 20% only make estimates regarding the levy in their budgeting while about a third of aspiring first-time buyers do not take account of the tax at all in their calculations .

Stephen Noakes, commercial director at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Our research shows that many first-time buyers are unaware of the cost of Stamp Duty.

“We remain committed to helping aspiring first-time buyers get a foot on the property ladder and have developed this product to help them meet some of the initial costs involved.”

Halifax’s first-time buyer initiative was unveiled shortly after chancellor Alistair Darling’s Budget announcement that the Stamp Duty holiday for properties worth less than £175,000 would be extended until the end of the year.

Darling’s announcement was greeted with widespread cynicism among professionals in the housing industry.