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Stamp duty holiday essential to kick-start market, says top consumer body

A major consumer survey of existing home owners and potential movers has resulted in a plea to government to allow house moves to resume - and to introduce a 12 month stamp duty holiday when the time is right.

The HomeOwners Alliance, which undertakes an annual survey into the housing market and owners’ perceptions of the property industry, suggests that many people are suffering anxiety over the size of their current homes in the lockdown.

The survey - carried out online by polling organisation YouGov, and conducted during the lockdown - shows that over a fifth of owners have housing issues arising from the lockdown, with 45 per cent of respondents saying they are struggling to pay domestic bills.


Of those affected by the lockdown, some 16 per cent say they have stalled, interrupted or abandoned plans to buy and sell.  

The top concern for homeowners with a mortgage who had housing issues or concerns was about being able to sustain their mortgage payments or having to ask their lender for a mortgage holiday.

Of homeowners with housing issues arising from coronavirus, almost one in 10 owners worry about losing their job compared with only three per cent among affected renters.

Regionally, Londoners register the highest level of housing concern as a result of the pandemic - 27 per cent in the capital against an average of 22 per cent nationally.

“While we’ve heard from housing industry groups worried about their businesses this is the first research highlighting homeowners’ concerns. Our study was conducted in early April, so it is highly likely concerns around paying rent, mortgages and bills, and the impact of isolation on mental health has rocketed in the subsequent four weeks of lockdown” explains Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance.

“That is why we are calling on the government to ensure the housing market is one of the first sectors to be re-started, once it is safe to do so” she continues.


“The human impact and multiplier effect of getting the housing market going is clear: people can move for jobs, a growing family or to downsize. Mortgage lenders in turn will feel confident in lending to first time buyers with smaller deposits. And a myriad of different jobs can be revived, from house builders, conveyancing firms, estate agents, surveyors, removals companies, architects, home improvement firms and more, all feeling the benefits” Higgins adds.

“However, it would be naive to think that lifting restrictions is all it would take to get people moving. The housing market is driven by confidence. That is why we are calling for a 12 month stamp duty holiday. This would incentivise families who can afford to move to get on and do so, giving the housing market and all the related sectors the kick start they need.”

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    What a load of tosh. The way to "kickstart" is for the Government to (finally) allow prices to fall back to their historical multiples. Then the market will be active again.


    Its called supply and demand, the only way to effect house price inflation's to build more houses, oh and yes the Government does need to introduced a stamp duty holiday to kick start the housing market they have put so much money to prop up the economy and protect jobs they are not going to leave it at that if the economy falls into a deep recession. i would even go as far as suggesting that a review of stamp duty is well over due and would propose SDLT is paid only on the difference and nothing of you are downsizing, it might encourage a few more older people who find themselves in a house too big for their needs and too costly to maintain and live in to move.

    • 30 April 2020 14:31 PM

    What a load of tosh!
    Historical multiples would result in the whole mortgaged property market being in negative equity.
    Income multiples never work.
    Affordability does.
    So want a kid then you can't afford a mortgage.
    So have the mortgage and then a 'happy accident' occurs.
    Only way to beat MMR.
    No sane Govt will do anything to destroy property values.


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