A petition has been launched demanding a stamp duty holiday extension.
The online petition is the idea of Jonathan Steel - a layperson who fears he will not be able to buy his own dream home if he has to pay stamp duty after the holiday ends on March 31.
“Extending the Stamp Duty Holiday for an additional six months will assist many buyers who are looking to move to a property that they will not be able to afford otherwise. This will help to stabilise the housing market” he says.
“I am looking to move into a new build which is currently due to complete at the start of March 2021. If this build is delayed past 31st March 2021 then I will not be able to afford the stamp duty so will not be able to afford the house” he continues.
So far the petition has attracted around 13,500 signatures and you can sign it here.
Momentum for an extension - either a longer period or a tapering of the holiday so that it is phased out gradually - continues to build in the industry.
Savills, in a report out today, gives the results of a survey of 1,300 prime property buyers.
The agency says: “The stamp duty holiday has given greater urgency to the market over recent months. Fifty nine per cent of respondents expressed concern about their ability to complete a purchase prior to the March 31 deadline; it being a significant concern to 26 per cent.
“Unsurprisingly, that was most noticeable in the market between £250,000 to £500,000 where buyers have benefitted from the greatest savings relative to purchase price."
Propertymark, along with other industry bodies, has written to the government calling for an extension and alerting Chancellor Rishi Sunak to the risk that a failure to complete transactions by March 31 “could see the breakdown of chains with consumers potentially financially unable to continue with the purchase, as they would have to find funds to pay stamp duty”.
Mark Hayward, outgoing chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, says: “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 housing market, which has recovered well from the Covid slump. We are calling on government to rethink these timings.”
And Iain McKenzie, chief executive of The Guild of Property Professionals, adds: “We are hoping to use our influence as a large network to help persuade the government to push back the deadline date because of the high number of transactions currently in the pipeline that won’t make the cut off due to delays. Consumers should not be penalised for the delays currently experienced in the property buying process that they have no control over.”