There is a great feal of movement in the housing market just at the moment. This has been brought about generally from the chancellor’s initiative in bringing down stamp duty for a short period. This has helped to stimulate the market. In fact, by raising the threshold from £125K to £500K in England and Northern Ireland has really been a boon. In normal conditions, a purchaser of land or property pays stamp duty from £125K and there are portion breaks, so on a property costing £850K, the bit from £125.01 K to £250K is 2%, from £250.01K to £925.00K is 5%; the portion from £925K to £1.5m is 10% and above £1.5m sits at 12%. However there have been additional safeguards for first time buyers – there’s no stamp duty on the first £300K so long as the actual price does not exceed £500K, and it must be their first purchase – not a first ‘second home’ or other plot not actually forming their first residential home.