Estate agents have joined forces with other property groups representing the home moving process, including search agents, mortgage intermediaries, conveyancing, surveying, energy assessors and removal companies, to call on the chancellor to extend the stamp duty holiday by six months.
A joint letter, signed by a number of trade bodies and property firms, including The Guild of Property Professionals, NAEA Propertymark, the Residential Property Surveyors Association, BAR, Conveyancing Association, Society of Licenced Conveyancers, the House Buying and Selling Group, Simplify, Purplebricks, Mortgage Advice Bureau, and Landmark, will be sent to the chancellor later today urging him to extend the stamp duty holiday until September 2021.
The joint letter, seen by Property Industry Eye, outlines that the housing market infrastructure is under huge pressure as hundreds of thousands of buyers and sellers, agents, surveyors, lenders and conveyancers rush to beat the 31 March deadline.
The letter also calls on 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.
The stamp duty holiday and pent-up demand has left 140,000 more buyers in the queue to finalise their home purchase than a year earlier, as people rush to complete before the clock runs down.
According to Zoopla, there are currently around 418,000 residential property sales in the pipeline, up from 280,000 properties 12 months ago.
The latest figures from property data analysts TwentyCi suggest some 325,000 buyers will not complete before the 31 March deadline because of issues with conveyancing, surveying, mortgage and search services.
Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, commented: “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 31st 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 31st 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.”
You can read the open letter by clicking here.