In July last year, the chancellor temporarily cut stamp duty across the UK in a bid to boost the property market.

The tax break enabled buyers to save up to £15,000 in tax.

While the main stamp duty holiday has ended, buyers in England and Northern Ireland can still save themselves thousands.

We explain how the rules are changing.

Stamp duty is a tax paid by people purchasing a property or piece of land in England or Northern Ireland – it varies across the UK, as Scotland and Wales have their own systems.

In July 2020, the government temporarily raised stamp duty thresholds.

In England and Northern Ireland, homebuyers benefited from a £500,000 tax-free threshold (up from £125,000 for existing homeowners, or £300,000 for first-time buyers).

In Scotland, the usual threshold of £145,000 was increased to £250,000. In Wales, the threshold was increased from £180,000 to £250,000.

The stamp duty holiday has now ended completely in Scotland and Wales and normal rates now apply.

However, the holiday is still ongoing in England and Northern Ireland (though is less generous than before).

No stamp duty will be due on the first £250,000 of any primary residential property in England or Northern Ireland until 1 October 2021. (The threshold is £300,000 if you’re a first-time buyer).

From 1 October, the stamp duty rules go back to normal. This means you won’t pay stamp duty tax on homes worth up to £125,000 (or £300,000 if you’re a first-time buyer).

Stamp duty is payable on completion of the sale. So, you’ll need to have completed your property purchase by 30 September to take advantage of the current stamp duty holiday.

If the stamp duty holiday means you could now afford to move, there are some things you can do to ensure you get the best mortgage deal possible.

Before you think about applying it’s a good idea to get your credit report in shape. Lenders will look at this to work out if you’re likely to be a responsible and reliable borrower. The better your credit rating the better the choice and rates of the deals available to you. You can check your credit score for free with an Experian account to get an idea of where you stand.

Calculate what you can realistically afford to make sure you can meet all your mortgage repayments. Missing them could mean you lose your home. Check out our mortgage calculator to see how much you’ll pay each month and how much interest you’ll pay.

When you’re ready, you can search for a mortgage with us and see your chances of acceptance for a range of mortgage providers. We check your credit information against lenders’ criteria to give you your chances of approval. We can also work out how much you could borrow and then pass you to our expert broker partner, L&C, for fee free mortgage advice.