The stamp duty holiday has been extended for three months, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced.
The tax has been suspended on the first £500,000 of all property sales in England and Northern Ireland since July.
What is the stamp duty holiday?
Last summer, the government temporarily increased the amount at which stamp duty is paid to £500,000, for property sales in England and Northern Ireland.
The tax break was due to end on 31 March, but Mr Sunak announced in the Budget that it will now end on 30 June.
After this date, the starting rate of stamp duty will be £250,000 until the end of September. Stamp duty will then return to the usual level of £125,000.
The move was aimed at helping buyers who might have taken a financial hit because of Covid. It could save them as much as £15,000, if they were buying a property of £500,000 or more.
It was also intended to boost a property market hit by lockdown, which had seen house prices fall for four months in a row.
What other help for homeowners is there?
The chancellor also announced a new "mortgage guarantee" in the Budget.
Starting in April, the government will provide a guarantee to lenders who offer mortgages to people with a deposit of just 5% on homes with a value of up to £600,000.
The government says the scheme will allow more people to become homeowners.
Lloyds, NatWest, Santander, Barclays and HSBC will be offering 95% mortgages from April, with other lenders including Virgin Money expected to launch products later.
How much money does stamp duty raise?
The government's annual take from stamp duty is about £12bn, according to the latest figures released by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
That's roughly equivalent to 2% of the Treasury's total tax take.
How much stamp duty will I pay?
If the property purchased is your main home - and the sale is completed before 30 June - you won't pay any stamp duty at all if it costs £500,000 or less.
The next portion of the property's price (£500,001 to £925,000) will be taxed at 5%, and the £575,000 after that (£925,001 to £1.5m) at 10%.
The remaining amount (over £1.5m) will be taxed at 12%. You can calculate how much you are liable to pay here.
Before the announcement, stamp duty in England and Northern Ireland was paid on property sold for £125,000 or more. First-time buyers did not pay any stamp duty up to £300,000.
Landlords and second-home buyers are also eligible for the tax cut, but will still have to pay the additional 3% of stamp duty they were charged under the previous rules.
What about Scotland and Wales?
In Scotland, the normal rates on Land and Buildings Transaction Tax are:
- 2% on £145,001-£250,000
- 5% on £250,001-£325,000
- 10% on £325,001-£750,000
- 12% on any value above £750,000.
However, until the end of March, the threshold at which the tax starts to be paid has been raised to £250,000, under measures brought in by the Scottish government.
Scottish landlords pay an extra 4% Land and Buildings Transaction Tax on top of standard rates.
In Wales, the normal rates on Land Transaction Tax are:
- 3.5% on £180,001-£250,000
- 5% on £250,001-£400,000
- 7.5% on £400,001-£750,000
- 10% on £750,001-£1.5m
- 12% on any value above £1.5m.
However, the Welsh government also introduced a temporary relief on the first tier, meaning that until the end of March people buying their main homes in Wales costing less than £250,000 will not pay any tax.
Welsh landlords pay an extra 4% Land Transaction Tax on top of standard rates.