Property industry left disappointed as chancellor fails to extend stamp duty holiday

The property industry was left disappointed yesterday after a hoped-for extension to the current stamp duty holiday deadline failed to materialise in the chancellor’s spending review.

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

“We, along with others in the industry, had called on the government for an extension of the tax holiday,” said Martijn van der Heijden, chief of strategy at Habito.

But Rishi Sunak chose not to include any stamp duty changes for property buyers in yesterday’s speech.

“Understandably, the spending review focused on funding for public services in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, even if the property industry had hoped that the chancellor would use the address to provide clarity on issues such as the stamp duty holiday and proposed changes to capital gains tax,” said Neil Cobbold, chief sales officer at PayProp.

There have been widespread calls for the stamp duty holiday to be extended in recent weeks, amid fears that a high number of buyers will fail to complete before the 31 March deadline.

Rob Houghton, CEO of reallymoving, commented: “Thousands of homebuyers up and down the country are facing the prospect of missing out on the stamp duty holiday if their purchase doesn’t complete by 31st March.

“In practical terms we will see a rapid worsening of the current bottleneck in the conveyancing process as everyone rushes to complete by the deadline, with many transactions inevitably delayed as solicitors struggle to cope. This will cost buyers thousands in stamp duty they haven’t budgeted for, in many cases making the move unaffordable and causing chains to break down.”

“Extending the holiday would have helped support the housing market, promote economic activity and preserve people’s financial security at a critical time,” he added.

Although it comes as no major surprise that an extension to the stamp duty holiday was not referenced by Sunak yesterday, greater clarity is still needed with the stamp duty holiday deadline just four months away.

Bryan Mansell, co-Founder at Gazeal, commented: “An extension to or gradual tapering off of the stamp duty holiday would help to ensure that consumers don’t miss out on significant tax savings and the pressure on property professionals is reduced. Extra breathing space would also help the industry to work through a huge backlog of transactions built up in recent months.

“What’s more, an extension to the stamp duty holiday would help to stimulate the housing market throughout 2021 when it will be up against tough economic conditions. Further stamp duty measures could also help to avoid a sharp drop-off of property supply and demand in April.”

“Whether or not the government intends to extend the tax break beyond next March, a decision needs to be made public soon so that estate agents, conveyancers and consumers can prepare for what is ahead.”

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16 Comments

  1. RichardHill61

    Considering how much money the government have recklessly wasted it’s no surprise it wasn’t extended but given the likely turmoil in the property market next year it should have been!

    Still with ongoing COVID, nearly 3m unemployed and all the empty commercial space there should be plenty of opportunities for agents to prosper especially as BREXIT still has to impact (although I suspect some of the early damage was hidden in Sunak’s numbers)

    It’s just fortunate interest rates are so low otherwise there would be a huge pricing adjustment and keys would be being given back to lenders! (Probably will be in 6 months as it is!)

    2021 should be a rollercoaster so enjoy the ride! (After the 2 month national lockdown at the end of January after the 5 day Christmas binge has had its affect!)

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    1. jan - byers

      yup everything is the govts fault and people still whine about a a vote that took place over 4 years ago

      There was a vote

      It was to go

      Get over it

      ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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      1. RichardHill61

        I am over Brexit! Are you?

        I just mentioned it will have an Impact…And already is….

        Given how honest the Politicians are do you think they would tell us the truth about how it’s affecting the economy and job losses already?

         

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    2. Moveaside01

      Have you ever considered a career in motivational speaking………..?

       

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      1. jan - byers

        I have done some funny enough – have you ever considerered shutting the f up LOL 
        And stopping whinging 
        🙂 I will not look at thisn tread again so do not bother to waste you time ansd I cannot be bothered to get involved with a troll on a forum TC x 

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        1. AgencyInsider

          Ah, the joy of the well-mannered and civilised debate over Brexit. How we miss those happy, happy days.

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      2. PRman

        In December there was a vote in which 55% rejected this Govt and its ideology so if you think the UK still supported Brexit then get over it. It’s right to raise the cost of Brexit and only rabid Brexiteers (your second comment clearly reveals you as one of them) are mad enough to ignore it. And don’t say the election was democracy because that means everyone has a vote that counts, not the system in this country where if you don’t vote for the winning candidate then you have no representation.

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      3. Moveaside01

        Dear Jan,

         

        I was in-fact replying to Richard’s rather depressing response and not yours. But thank you for your charming response, most eloquent……..

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  2. David Jabbari Solicitor CEO Muve

    I may still be proved wrong but I have been predicting for some time that the SDLT holiday will not be extended. An extension would only serve to move the ‘cliff edge’ problem on a number of months but more importantly the sums involved are too high. The government has lost approx £2bn in stamp duty revenue as against the same period last year. If this were to go on for a full year that hole in revenue could be as much as £8bn. When you consider that the ‘eat out to help out’ scheme cost the government approx £0.5bn I am sure the Chancellor will conclude there are far cheaper ways to stimulate economic activity!

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    1. AlwaysAnAgent

      You’re pointing out the obvious, again David, which isn’t an intelligent thing do. There were lots of thumbs down to your last comment a few days ago.

      Isn’t it more sensible to promote the benefits of a stamp duty extension rather than sing about the benefits of not having one. Please forgive me for behaving like a business person.

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  3. PRman

    Sunak’s figures show another £1 billion factored in for 2021-22 to cover the SDLT holiday. It was an incentive that was supposed to cut costs but the frantic activity pushed up prices. Vendors got the cash, buyers saved nothing, and the Govt faces a £3 billion total loss. For Govt, read you and me.

     

    An incentive ceases to be one when made permanent. Vendors will have to limit their ambitions from well before April 1 although it would help if the deadline was altered to cover exchanges by March 31 rather than completions.

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  4. Gangsta Agent

    If we’re typing about conveyancing, we all know that everyone involved in conveyancing are in the main c r a p. A solicitor is Kenton NW London took 4 weeks to acknowledge receiving the draft documents from the selling side and then took another week to raise enquiries. When I finally got her on the phone to ask her why it’s taken her this long she said, oh it’s because I spend all my time answering the phone to you estate agents.

    Easiest response in years, “do you’re FK job properly then and you won’t have to”

    you’re welcome

     

     

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  5. AlwaysAnAgent

    Er, no thank you. Advertisers normally pay PIE for the privilege. I couldn’t bring myself to use a conveyancer who maintains a half empty glass approach, even if they worked for free. 

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  6. David Jabbari Solicitor CEO Muve

    Happy to advertise in PIE which is an excellent publication. It’s not ‘glass half empty’ to stop chasing shadows and actually come up with a real product – MuveFast – that gives a good chance of completion before end March 2021. If I were you I’d be more interested in getting as many of my commissions through now rather than living for an extension that may never happen. 

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  7. AlwaysAnAgent

    I see your previous post has been removed by the moderator and your comments aren’t a good advertisement for your firm. Maybe a name change to Condescending Conveyancers is in order? 

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  8. James W

    Hi David, I have two cases with Muve, coincidently you are on opposite sides of the same transaction so covering sale and purchase. The service is horrendous, the transaction is taking too long, seemingly the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing and most frustratingly of all your call handlers do not seem to even understand the conveyancing process. Both clients are paying for MuveFast which I don’t think is meant to be ironic.          

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