Extend Stamp Duty holiday to halt damage risk to property market, government is urged

Jan 26, 2021

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THE GOVERNMENT has been urged to extend the stamp duty holiday by six months.

The move should include properties that have exchanged but have yet to complete as home buyers struggle to get deals completed before the end of the holiday on March 31. 

The call comes from accountancy and stamp duty experts Hillier Hopkins. Even better, says the firm, would be to extend the stamp duty holiday until September 2021. 

Tax manager Natasha Heron said: “The property market has remained remarkably buoyant in 2020 and in January this year, and that is in no small part driven by the stamp duty holiday. 

“But the property market is facing a precipitous cliff edge with Help To Buy and the stamp duty holiday ending on March 31. 

“This will have a devasting impact on the residential property market, with it likely to stall at a time when it should be at its busiest.”

Natasha Heron

Stamp duty receipts contributed £11.6 billion to the Treasury in 2019/20 with the added advantage of it being a tax paid up front rather than at the end of the tax year. 

Ms Heron said: “We appreciate that the government needs to generate revenues now more so than ever but the property market and the wider economy remains fragile. Support is still needed. 

“The stamp duty holiday has created a degree of urgency in the market, with many home buyers and sellers struggling to get their deals across the line before the end of March. 

“Local authority searches are taking longer as are mortgage approvals. A problem at any stage can lead to weeks of delay.

“As a result, we would expect to see in the coming weeks an increased number of deals that fall through. That is why we would urge the government to, as a minimum, extend the stamp duty holiday to those property that have exchanged but yet to complete or – even better – extend the holiday through to September.”

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