BASINGSTOKE estate agents have welcomed the news of an eight-month stamp duty holiday.

The chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak announced plans yesterday which came into immediate affect.

This means any purchase up to £500,000 will be exempt from paying any tax.

Based on the current average house price, some 96 per cent of areas across England will now see the average homebuyer pay no stamp duty at all based on the current average house price there.

This stamp duty equates to a saving of £2,465 for the average buyer in England.

The managing director of Mackenzie Smith Stephen Tetlow said this was "extremely welcome". 

He said: "To those already in the process of moving home, or who were planning to do so this year, a stamp duty holiday on purchases of up to £500,000 will clearly be extremely welcome.

"But in my view, the positivity and benefits are likely to ripple throughout the housing market and economy.

"The significant cost savings will no doubt stimulate the 'chain building' process, with those exceeding £500,000 still hugely benefitting, but will also encourage others now in need of that extra bit of space, be it a home office or garden, both unsurprisingly hugely sought after following lockdown conditions, to make that move.

"The extent of the holiday, to March 2021, will give movers that much-needed confidence, sustaining the positive return to the housing market we've noticed since we were able to return to work on May 13."