Industry calls for govt to revisit stamp duty end date
An open letter from industry figureheads has been sent to Chancellor Rishi Sunak requesting the conclusion of the stamp duty holiday to be extended by six months.
As it currently stands, both the stamp duty holiday and the Help to Buy scheme are set to conclude on 31 March 2021.
The letter has been signed by 14 organisations, including BAR, NAEA Propertymark, The Guild of Property Professionals, the Residential Property Surveyors Association, Conveyancing Association, Society of Licenced Conveyancers, Kate Faulkner, the House Buying and Selling Group, Simplify, MAB, Landmark and Purplebricks.
Within the letter it requests that the government extends the stamp duty holiday until September 2021.
Furthermore, those writing to the government outlined that the housing market infrastructure is under huge pressure as hundreds of thousands of buyers and sellers, agents, surveyors, lenders and conveyancers are rushing to complete sales before the deadline.
The letter details that these organisations would like the government to work with the industry in order to develop a method to help smooth the end of an extended stamp duty holiday to prevent another cliff edge.
Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, said: “The joint letter sent to the chancellor today is an important step in protecting those in the process of buying or selling a house that might miss out on the 31 March stamp duty deadline because of increased pressure on service providers within the industry which is causing delays for buyers and sellers in the sector.
“The group endorsing this letter represents the breadth of the home moving process including estate agents, search agents, mortgage intermediaries, conveyancing, surveying, energy assessors and removal companies.
“The boom, caused by the stamp duty holiday, has been hugely beneficial for the housing market; however, the stamp duty cliff edge on the 31 March could cause thousands of sales to fall at the final hurdle and have a knock on and drastic effect on the housing market which has recovered well from the COVID slump.
“We are calling on government to rethink these timings, so pressure on the system can be released to allow transactions to complete and avoid a disorderly and distressing period for movers and businesses throughout the market.”