The Chancellor has announced that homes worth £175,000 or less are to be exempted from stamp duty for 12 months as part of a package to revive the flagging housing market.
The change, which comes into effect on September 3, raises the threshold on which 1% stamp duty is paid from its current level of £125,000.
The move by Alistair Darling will save eligible home-buyers up to £1,750 when they purchase a property, and relates only to buildings entirely for residential use.
In a statement, the Treasury said: "The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that stamp duty land tax will not apply to purchases of residential property of £175,000 or less.
"This will provide an exemption from stamp duty land tax for land transactions consisting entirely of residential property where the chargeable consideration is not more than £175,000."
The Treasury estimates that the one-year stamp duty freeze will cost the Government £600 million - suggesting that it expects about half a million home-buyers to benefit from the change.
About half of the 90,000 home purchases completed each month are on properties worth £175,000 or less, but deals below £125,000 are already exempt from stamp duty.
The average price of a home in the UK was just under £165,000 in August, according to the Nationwide Monthly House Price Index.
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Phillip Bullivant from the Conveyancing team at law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "In the light of the current market difficulties this is a welcome initiative on the part of the Government although locally an increase in the banding levels may not be as significant as expected. The Governments lending and social housing initiatives may well have a greater impact for First Time Buyers."