A stamp duty cut has been announced in chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-budget on Friday as part of a raft of new measures that could save homeowners and renovators money.
The government’s Growth Plan, a ‘mini-budget’, aims to help households struggling with spiralling inflation and energy price rises.
Here's everything you need to know about how the mini-budget will affect you.
What changes have been made to stamp duty?
The chancellor announced a cut to stamp duty, a tax paid when you buy a property, in England and Northern Ireland.
The cut raises the threshold of how much a property has to cost before stamp duty is paid to £250,000. First-time buyers currently pay no stamp duty on the first £300,000, and that figure will go up to £425,000.
Mr Kwarteng said: “Cuts to stamp duty will get the housing market moving and support first-time buyers to put down roots. And we’re going to increase the value of the property on which first-time buyers can claim relief, from £500,000 to £625,000.
"The steps we’ve taken today mean 200,000 more people will be taken out of paying stamp duty altogether. This is a permanent cut to stamp duty, effective from today."
Responding to the announcement, property finance specialists Anderson Harris, said: “It does not solve the main issue for many of us which is soaring interest rates and a cost of living crisis. If interest rates continue to rise quickly, many borrowers will have far less disposable income and there will be many who may be unable to pay their mortgages."
The chancellor also announced New Investment Zones which will bring business investment and release land for new homes in communities across the country.
Will the stamp duty cut affect Scotland and Wales?
As stamp duty is devolved in Scotland and Wales today's cut won't apply to the equivalent Land Transaction Tax in Wales and the Scottish Land and Buildings Transaction Tax.
However, the Scottish Government is expected to receive more than £600m in extra funding over the 2021 Spending Review period as a result of the changes to income tax and Stamp Duty Land Tax and the Welsh Government will receive around £70m over the same period as a result of the change to Stamp Duty Land Tax.
Has anything changed with energy prices?
The chancellor elaborated on plans announced earlier this month for an Energy Price Guarantee which will save the typical household £1,000 a year on their energy bill, and the Energy Bill Relief Scheme announced earlier this week which will halve the cost of business energy bills.
The government has confirmed the price freeze will cost £60 billion for the six months from October, which will be funded through government borrowing.
More detailed costings and an assessment of their impact on the economy will be included in the next Office for Budget Responsibility forecast.
What planning law changes have been announced?
The chancellor also announced that he will further support homebuyers by increasing the disposal of surplus government land to build new homes, increasing supply.
Mr Kwarteng said the government will legislate to introduce new planning reforms that no longer "constrain growth", and criticised the system as too slow.
The government is in discussion with 38 local and mayoral combined authority areas to set up Investment Zones in specific areas. These areas will be allowed to relax planning rules to release more land for housing.
But Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, issued a warning following this announcement.
“It is vital that any planning reforms don’t create a free-for-all approach to new development at the expense of our legally binding climate commitments and nature recovery goals," she said.
What other measures will potentially save me money?
Income tax will be cut to 19% in April 2023 – one year earlier than planned – with 31 million people getting on average £170 more per year.
The proposed rise in corporation tax rise has also been cancelled, keeping it at 19% as the government sets its sights on a 2.5% trend rate of growth (rate of economic growth that can be maintained without inflationary pressures).
Furthermore, corporation tax rise has been cancelled and the basic rate of income will be slashed.
Get the Homebuilding & Renovating Newsletter
Bring your dream home to life with expert advice, how to guides and design inspiration. Sign up for our newsletter and get two free tickets to the National Homebuilding & Renovating Show (21-24 March, NEC, Birmingham).
Sam is based in Coventry and has been a news reporter for nearly 20 years. His work has featured in the Mirror, The Sun, MailOnline, the Independent, and news outlets throughout the world. As a copywriter, he has written for clients as diverse as Saint-Gobain, Michelin, Halfords Autocentre, Great British Heating, and Irwin Industrial Tools. During the pandemic, he converted a van into a mini-camper and is currently planning to convert his shed into an office and Star Wars shrine.