HOMEBUYERS across Cheshire could save thousands of pounds from the stamp duty holiday announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Wednesday.

Under the usual rules, homebuyers must pay stamp duty on properties above £125,000, or £300,000 for first-time buyers.

But the holiday means stamp duty now won’t be paid on main properties up to the value of £500,000 until March 31, 2021.

According to Zoopla, average house prices stand at £447,000 in Wilmslow and £473,000 in Knutsford, meaning many homebuyers in those towns could benefit most from the holiday.

Homeowners looking to move up the property ladder in mid Cheshire could also benefit, with average house prices standing at £227,000 in Northwich and its surrounding villages, £190,000 in Middlewich and £159,000 in Winsford.

However, average house prices creep above the threshold in many rural areas, as well as in Alderley Edge – where the average stands at £622,000.

Knutsford Guardian:

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the stamp duty holiday on Wednesday. Image: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA Wire

Archie John Financial Solutions, which is based in Alderley Road, Wilmslow, acts as a mortgage broker to many first-time buyers and home movers.

Director Fraser Scott welcomed the move as a ‘significant jolt in the arm for the property market’.

“Stamp duty has been a significant barrier to homeowners looking to move up the property ladder,” he said.

“For a home mover looking to purchase a property priced up to £300,000, this is a potential saving of around £5,000.

“For a home mover buying a property with a value of between £300,000 and £500,000, it’s a saving of up to £15,000, which is a significant sum.

“First-time buyers have benefitted from a reduction in stamp duty for some time but, with this latest announcement, they stand to save up to £10,000 if they buy a home below the new threshold.”

John Halman, managing director of Gascoigne Halman estate agents, says the announcement has led to a ‘positive response from clients’ across Cheshire following a long period of uncertainty.

However, property expert Miles Shipside from Rightmove says the policy is unlikely to make much difference to first-time buyers, who are already stretched by the need to save for a deposit.

He said: “There's currently record housing demand but the market also needs the ability for lenders to extend the availability of low-deposit mortgages, vital to healthy first-time buyer volumes that help drive the rest of the market.

"A stamp duty holiday without better mortgage availability isn't really helpful for hard-pressed potential first-time buyers who are already mainly exempt from it anyway."

What do you think to the announcement? Have your say by emailing yourviews@guardiangrp.co.uk