Call to extend stamp duty holiday
Leading industry figures are becoming more vocal in their call to the government to extend the stamp duty holiday.
With seven weeks to go until the tax break ends, there has been growing pressure on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend the scheme or even abolish it altogether.
The announcement in July, designed to stimulate the property market, saw stamp duty reduced to zero per cent for all properties up to £500,000 in value.
The move has widely been credited with keeping the market afloat but now experts fear the scheme’s end date of March 31 could have the opposite effect.
Recent research from Shawbrook Bank reveals that 75 per cent of commercial brokers think the holiday should be extended.
When asked about the main impacts the stamp duty holiday has had, they reported positive outcomes, stating that they had seen increased investment in the property market (63 per cent) and resilient property prices (33 per cent).
Emma Cox, sales director of property finance at Shawbrook Bank, says: “The announcement of the stamp duty holiday in the summer last year has no doubt had a hand in helping to release pent up demand and get the housing market moving again.”
But, she continues: “As highlighted by members of parliament this week, what we must avoid now, for the property sector and the wider economy, is a cliff edge where all economic support suddenly drops away, especially as we have not yet seen the full economic impact of the virus.”
Although targeting low to mid-value homes, the stamp duty holiday is believed to have had a ripple effect throughout all sectors.
Many people seeking to move to larger homes with space for home working or to properties suitable for extension, conversion or renovation work have benefitted from being able to save up to £15,000.
Currently there is something of a logjam in the house buying process because of the clamour to complete by March 31.
It is hoped by many in the industry that Mr Sunak will announce an extension or six-month tapering off to the scheme in his budget on March 3.