Government says it ‘does not plan to extend’ stamp duty holiday

The government has confirmed that it “does not plan” to extend the temporary relief offered to property buyers via the stamp duty holiday.

Rishi Sunak

Estate agents, surveyors and solicitors were among those hoping that the chancellor Rishi Sunak would extend the deadline beyond 31 March to help stimulate the housing market next year.

But the Treasury has opted not to extend the stamp duty holiday for property buyers beyond March next year, and it is now feared that this could result in the collapse of almost a quarter of a million property sales, as buyers struggle to beat the deadline, owed in part to delays in the conveyancing process.

More than 23,000 people have signed a petition calling for the stamp duty holiday to be extended for six months after 31 March 2021.

As it received over 10,000 signatures, the government was required to respond.

A spokesperson for HM Treasury said: “The SDLT holiday was designed to be a temporary relief to stimulate market activity and support jobs that rely on the property market. The government does not plan to extend this temporary relief.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown caused uncertainty for those buying and selling residential property and property transactions fell by as much as 50% during the first national lockdown.

“To stimulate immediate momentum in the property market and to support the jobs of people whose employment relied on custom from the property industry, the Government decided to introduce a temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) relief. This relief increased the starting threshold of residential SDLT from £125,000 to £500,000 from the 8 July 2020 until 31 March 2021.

“Since the relief was introduced, transactions have increased and seasonally adjusted data shows that in October 2020, transactions were 8% higher than October 2019.

“As the relief was to provide an immediate stimulus to the property market, the Government does not plan to extend this relief. SDLT is an important source of government revenue, raising several billion pounds each year to help pay for the essential services the Government provides.

“The Government is committed to supporting home ownership and helping people get on and move up the housing ladder. When the SDLT Holiday ends, the Government will maintain a SDLT relief for first time buyers which increases the starting threshold of residential SDLT to £300,000 for first-time buyers that purchase a property below £500,000. In addition, a new Help to Buy scheme will be introduced from 1 April 2021. This scheme will run until March 2023.

“All tax policy is kept under review and the Government considers the views it receives carefully as part of that process.”

At 100,000 signatures, the petition to extend the stamp duty holiday will be considered for debate in Parliament.

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10 Comments

  1. Countrybumpkin

    This this is your livelihood for 2021 folks. We’re all feeling king pin at the moment, but those of you haven’t signed the petition, ensured your immediate team has and shared to all on your database, then please do so. we could otherwise see a greater than average abo rate in March, April and/or renegotiations in chains (even if you have managed your own client and buyers expectations). There will be no available removal companies in March without the government to allow ‘exchanges’ before March end (opposed to completions). We rely on none of you/us taking holididays in March – that includes all in any related industry and even with all this organisation, where will we be post March? Chaos ensued by ?

    please just sign the petition and ensure 10/20 people around you do the same 🙂

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  2. Happy Daze!

    If it’s not via SDLT it will be by other taxation. I’m not sure where everyone thinks the payback for all this ‘free’ money is coming from…. I will be shouted down for saying this but all this tax relief and furlough etc will have to be repaid. There is no secret money tree (said a less than infamous PM once!). If there is further relief on SDLT then there will most certainly be huge increases in GCT which will also be ‘wrong’ and will hit the PRS very hard when landlords rush to sell to hit that deadline…, At the end of the day … nothing is surer than death or taxes!!

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  3. AgencyInsider

    This useless, incompetent, government doesn’t just not plan to extend the SDLT holiday. It doesn’t plan anything.

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  4. juniorneg

    This is not great news and the lack of signatures is very disappointing, especially considering how many businesses and industries this will effect.  However if we are left with no choice, then we must all come together and find a way to complete as many transactions as possible.

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  5. RichardHill61

    Nothing on Boomin’ today!

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  6. Essjaydee51

    Do you mean this useless incompetent government that probably kept useless incompetent agents and businesses in a job longer than they deserved?

    this government has done good in helping our industry and if they did extend the deadline there are plenty of you out there that would be crying to extend or even leave the thresholds there forever and why, so you can abuse it again by calling all your old Vals and telling them to market at 50k more because of the SDLT relief.

    No wonder we have a bad rep, the best result would be to taper it down over a short period but that probably isn’t good enough either.

    Hey here’s a thought, why don’t we accept all that we have received in good grace and get on with our work in the best way we can manage rather than go cap in hand ask please can I have more sir.

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    1. gingerninja

      Spot on!

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  7. padymagic

    The government are heading for a “no deal” Brexit, they will need every penny they can muster to help pay for the catastrophe this country is heading towards.

    The EU provided a massive trading platform for all types of industries to flourish which in turn created a thriving property market.

    You voted to leave the EU but you want to extend the SDLT. Cake and eat it !!!!!

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  8. Rhino

    I can’t really understand the hysteria over the Stamp Duty deadline (well I can but let’s not get into greed at this particular time of year).

    It is ironic and probable that anyone who has agreed a sale in the last few weeks with a hope of beating the deadline, may well have paid more than they would have saved because of house price inflation, caused in part because of the potential saving. Let’s face it every New Builder and his mate have increased prices in the knowledge of house buyers not having to pay Stamp Duty.

    If we look at the maths as well, with average house prices around £250,000 the ‘saving’ is £2,500. Are we saying that as an estate agent we don’t have the ability to persuade buyer and seller to either swallow or share the “loss” – hey if really necessary you might even have to throw in a bit of your fee to safeguard the transaction (I know that could hurt some). Even with the £15,000 at the £500k sale surely not too many people are going to walk away at the 11th hour, from a transaction where they have probably invested a lot of costs in terms of survey/mortgage appl./solicitor fees etc especially if they find there are little or any alternative properties to buy at the same price – and if the prices have fallen wouldn’t we be telling a vendor to hold onto the buyer even at a slightly reduced sale price.

    We’ve had our ‘boost’ which we should be grateful for unlike the poor b*****s in the hospitality industry. Get on with a new year market in whatever form it might be and make the most of it because none of know what a post Brexit world will be and if any more Covid catastrophes might befall us.

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  9. Ric

    I wonder if a last  minute extension will be granted, as (in my mind) announcing an extension in February will not cause the influx of people trying to get on the market and sold, it will simply mean those already sold will get a small amount of extra time to hit the “new” deadline. Solicitors will be able to concentrate on the right sales rather than get 300 extra cases a week!

    If it was announced now, the danger is clearly, more houses come to the market now, in order to try and sell before the new deadline and this would just add even more congestion to the already congested pipelines and thus another extension will be called for.

    I do recall though, when lockdown was lifted, we were crazy busy, even before the Stamp Duty Holiday was announce, so I am sure we will still survive without it.

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