There is no denying the stamp duty holiday has created considerable activity in the property market. Buyers have enjoyed the chance to save up to £15,000; and the deadline is encouraging people to move sooner rather than later.
However, with so much activity in the current market, professionals are placed under pressure. There is a backlog in the industry right now, and there are concerns the backlog might lead to people missing out on the stamp duty saving.
More time is needed to conclude deals
This has led many key property industry people and bodies to sign an open letter to the Government, asking for an extension.
Signatories of the letter include:
British Association of Removers
The Guild of Property Professionals
Residential Property Surveyors Association
Society of Licenced Conveyancers
House Buying and Selling Group
The letter details the significant pressure placed on the housing market because of the holiday, and how the industry is already feeling under the strain as of late October 2020.
The letter reads; “Operational constraints in all areas of the home buying industry caused by the disruption brought about by Covid-19 and the current advice to work at home where possible, have seen average property transaction times lengthen from 12 weeks to 20 weeks. We are concerned that consumers continue to offer on properties expecting to benefit from the SDLT rate reduction but in reality they may be too late.”
Some parties have called for the stamp duty holiday to be extended to September 2021, which would be an extension of six months. There have also been calls for the holiday to feature a tapering off process, which would avoid the “cliff edge” many fear.
NAEA Propertymark is calling for assistance
NAEA Propertymark chief executive Mark Hayward is one of the signatories on the letter sent to the Chancellor, but he has also released his own letter on the subject.
Mark said; “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.”
Mark Hayward continued by saying; “The boom, caused by the stamp duty holiday, has been hugely beneficial for the housing market; however, the stamp duty cliff edge on March 31 could cause thousands of sales to fall at the final hurdle and have a knock on and drastic effect on the market which has recovered well from the Covid slump.”
Mark Hayward from NAEA Propertymark concluded by saying; “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.”
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