With the stamp duty holiday looking set to be extended by a further three months Matthew Cooper, founder and managing director of Yes Homebuyers, has questioned the sanity of the government for even considering such a move.
This morning The Times reported that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will likely make an announcement during the Budget on March 3 extending the holiday until June.
And with the government having a proven history of pre-briefing the national press it looks all but a done deal.
However, Cooper, the boss of homebuying firm Yes Homebyers hasn’t minced his words.
He said: “You have to question the sanity of a government that deliberately chooses to intensify an already serious issue by repeating the exact cause of the issue in the first place.
“Those looking to purchase the most expensive asset in their life are arguably some of the least in need of financial support in the current climate.
“When you couple this with the angst felt by many current homebuyers due to the huge market delays already caused by the stamp duty holiday, it seems fairly irresponsible to add further fuel to the flames with a deadline extension.
“We know that a large proportion of transactions are in danger of falling through, bringing property values down with them.
“So reading between the lines, it certainly looks as though the government are taking a head in the sand approach to prolong the inevitable rather than extending a genuine helping hand to homebuyers.”
However, others have praised the potential move from the Chancellor.
Those in favour included Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves, who said “thousands of homebuyers across the nation will be breathing a huge sigh of relief” and Keller Williams UK CEO Ben Taylor who added that the “latest news will further wet the appetite of homebuyers”.
James Forrester, managing director of Barrows and Forrester, was slightly more cynical.
He said: “Of course, while a welcome move for many, it is simply another attempt to maintain an overheating housing market by fuelling demand rather than tackling the real issue of building more homes.”
Figures released last month revealed that the number of new-build homes registered to be constructed across the UK fell by 23% annually in 2020 reaching an eight-year low.