Stamp duty will be be levied on all house purchases after 19 August unless buyers have 'executed' their contracts. This is defined by the Inland Revenue as 'involving signature and unconditional delivery of the relevant documents' and in England and Wales normally means completion of sale. The Revenue warns that this may differ in Scotland.
Citibank has put together a mortgage package that will pay up to pounds 400 of stamp duty and offers an interest rate of 10.73 per cent.
It includes two years free unemployment protection, covering repayments for up to 12 months.
Yorkshire Building Society has also launched a scheme designed to beat the return of stamp duty. The service, Mortgage Rapide, guarantees a mortgage offer on the same day if application is made before 10 am any working day except Saturday. The borrower pays a flat fee of pounds 100.Reuse content