Stamp duty reform for first time buyers was the big talking point of the Budget speech of Chancellor Phillip Hammond.

Today the Chancellor permanently abolished stamp duty for first-time buyers who are purchasing properties up to £300,000. For those in high-priced areas including London, stamp duty is abolished on the first £300,000 of properties worth up to £500,000.

The Treasury briefing paper states that the change took effect at one minute past midnight today, saying: “To ensure that all first-time buyers purchasing a house on Budget day benefit and to avoid disruption, the relief will take effect from Budget day (00:01 hours November 22nd).”

The Chancellor estimates that the move will cost £3.2bn over the coming 5 and a half years.

Carl King, Director at Fraser St James commented "This move by the chancellor in today's budget will hopefully provide a much needed stimulus to the North-West property market and help many first time buyers take their first step on the property ladder."