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The 2010 Budget is helping first-time buyers, with the Chancellor scrapping stamp duty on houses costing up to £250,000. This new threshold will take effect from midnight tonight, and is planned to last for two years. It now means that nine out of ten people buying their first home will not be liable for the tax.

At the other end of the scale, this does mean an increase to 5% on stamp duty for houses costing £1m or more. This will mean buyers having to hand over a minimum of £50,000.

The Chancellor said ‘The housing market has now stabilised and has begun a slow recovery. But many first time buyers, particularly those without large deposits, still find it hard to get a mortgage. I want to help them, but do so in a way that is properly funded.’

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