Spotlight: Halifax mortgage for first-time buyers

Halifax has launched a new five-year fixed-rate mortgage offer for first-time buyers, which pays 1 per cent of the purchase price. This is designed to alleviate stamp duty costs.

Stamp duty is usually charged at 1 per cent on properties between £125,000 and £250,000 (this rises to 3 per cent between £250,001 and £500,000 and 4 per cent above £500,000). However, with the housing market in the doldrums, the Government has implemented a stamp duty holiday on properties up to £175,000 until December.

Halifax's stamp duty mortgage is available on properties up to £250,000 meaning it could save first-time buyers up to £2,500.

In order to qualify you must take out a five-year fixed-rate mortgage at 6.44 per cent. Available on loans up to 90 per cent of the property's value, there is a £495 arrangement fee.

For first-time buyers who only have a 10 per cent deposit, this is the market-leading five-year fix on loans above £150,000 (if you are borrowing less than that, NatWest has a deal at 5.99 per cent which will be better value).