Industry calls for stamp duty extension
Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the spending review earlier today, which detailed plans to launch a £7.1bn Home Building Fund.
Within the review, Sunak also confirmed a £12bn investment for the Affordable Homes Programme.
Martijn van der Heijden, chief of strategy at, Habito said: “We, along with others in the industry, had called on the government for an extension of the tax holiday. Sadly, this hasn’t come today.
“Whether or not buyers make the tax holiday deadline at this stage is hugely dependent on their situation and the circumstances of their seller and other parties involved in the process.”
Van der Heijden advises anyone who has had an offer accepted on a property to speak to a mortgage broker and appoint a solicitor so they do not cause further delays.
He added: “And, if you can, it would be prudent to set aside now your full stamp duty tax liability just in case you do end up completing your house purchase on or after 1 April 2021.”
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman outlined that he hopes “the funds will be used to improve the pace of supply of affordable new housing for sale and to rent in places of most need”.
Looking to how to improve transaction numbers, Leaf pointed to further support for first-time buyers when the stamp duty concession ends and Help to Buy.
He said: “Their value to the wider economic recovery, particularly employment, has proved so crucial in recent months.
“Stimulation of infrastructure expenditure would be most welcome too as these projects are often the cause of delays in the delivery of housing.”
John Goodall, economist and chief executive of Landbay, said: “In a year that has seen the highest borrowing in peacetime history, the housing market has held up remarkably well.
“Buoyed by the stamp duty holiday, demand to buy still outstrips the supply of housing by some margin, so the need to increase the housing stock grows ever more urgent.
“The Chancellor’s £7.1bn national home building fund is a step in the right direction, but needs to translate into action, so we really see more homes being built and quickly.
“With unemployment to hit 7.5% next year and stamp duty reintroduced, it will be harder for many people to buy, but that doesn’t take away the need for housing.”
Goodall outlined that councils and housing associations will be unable to meet this need, and that demand will inevitably fall on the private rental sector instead.
Goodall believes that a tapering of the stamp duty holiday beyond 31 March and support for landlords to provide good quality rental property is what is needed to help meet the demand.
He added: “Rental property is likely to hit heights not seen in modern times.”