Whilst we are technically still awaiting confirmation in next week’s Budget, I am sure many of you will have seen the news that the government have decided to extend the current ‘Stamp Duty Holiday’.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to push the March 31st deadline back a further 3 months to the end of June, and although it has not been confirmed whether this extension will encompass ‘new buyers’ or just those already in involved in a sale who fail to meet the current March 31st deadline (which is currently estimated at over 100,000 transactions!), it will be welcome relief to many (including thousands of solicitors and conveyancers!!).
Some have suggested, that if this extension does include new buyers, it may simply be delaying the problem and we will have a similar situation in June, with buyers (and their Solicitors) trying desperately to complete an increased number of sales brought on by, not only the Stamp Duty Holiday, but the increased market activity as we emerge from lockdown.
Suggestions have been put forward for a tapered end to the holiday, with many feeling it would allow the process to run more smoothly and avoid a potential ‘cliff edge’.
Others, including the Centre for Policy Studies have recommended that the Government permanently increase the Stamp Duty threshold amounts or to abolish it all together.
The extension may well simply be a delaying tactic whilst the government decide what to do, but there can be no doubt that in the short term at least, and in line with our economic update last week from Roger, it is a good thing for economy and in particular the housing market!
As ever, stay safe.