A petition calling for the government to extend the stamp duty holiday until September 2021 has now attracted more than 63,000 signatures, up from just over 54,000 this morning.
The petition, which was started at the end of October by an individual who is looking to buy a new property, has proved popular with buyers and sellers, as well as agents, conveyancing solicitors, mortgage lenders and surveyors.
Jonathan Steel is looking to move into a new build property which is currently due to complete at the start of March 2021. But if the build is delayed past 31 March 2021 then he will not benefit from the stamp duty holiday, and this is what prompted him to launch an official petition calling for the stamp duty holiday to be extended.
“I will not be able to afford the stamp duty so will not be able to afford the house,” he said.
The government confirmed last month that it “does not plan” to extend the temporary relief offered to property buyers via the stamp duty holiday.
The government issued a statement, as part of its response to the petition, when it hit 10,000 signatures last month.
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.”
But the chancellor Rishi Sunak is under increasing pressure to extend the stamp duty holiday beyond 31 March, amid concerns that thousands of buyers could fail to complete before the deadline.
Delays are holding up homebuyers as the current lockdown places extra pressure on conveyancing solicitors, mortgage lenders and surveyors, struggling to push through purchases.
At 100,000 signatures, the petition to extend the stamp duty holiday will be considered for debate in Parliament.