SDLT rush to complete has “distorted” ONS figures

Jake Carter

February 17, 2021

The stamp duty holiday and corresponding rush to complete before the deadline will have distorted the Office for National Statistics (ONS) HPI figures, according to John Eastgate, managing director of property finance at Shawbrook Bank.

Data collected by ONS shows that the average property price in the UK has increased by 8.5% in the year to December 2020 to reach a record high of £252,000.

However, Eastgate believes that these figures must be “taken with a pinch of salt.”

He said: “Homeowners and investors shouldn’t set too much store by shorter-term measurements, but instead focus on the longer term.

“House prices will continue to be underpinned by the imbalance between supply and demand, not to mention the challenges of mortgage affordability.”

As a result, this creates a level of resilience in the market that should support long-term capital growth, despite volatility in the short term, explained Eastgate.

Therefore, there is an immediate fear of sales falling through for buyers and sellers if they do not meet the March deadline.

Eastgate went on to say that as a result of this concern from buyers and sellers it is “encouraging to hear that the government is considering an extension.”

He added: “However, ministers must also consider longer-term solutions to address the challenges in the market rather than more sticky-tape quick fixes.”

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