The waiver offers savings of up to £1,750 - based on the normal stamp duty rate of one per cent on a £175,000 property - but is due to come to an end on 31 December.
The temporary increase in the zero-rate threshold, up from £125,000 and announced last year, is said to have benefited thousands of buyers in London and the South-East - one in six purchases in the capital and nearly a third in the region, according to the Halifax. As well as helping first-time buyers, the concession is also available on buy-to-let purchases up to £175,000.
Do I have time?
There are suggestions that buyers who have only exchanged contracts by 31 December 2009 will still qualify for the tax exemption. However, to be certain of enjoying the “holiday” buyers must complete by the end of the year. With purchases often taking months, Abbey warns that more than 9,000 current buyers in London risk missing the deadline.