A property law firm is the latest to back a call for a stamp duty holiday to help kick-start the housing market after the lockdown.
Collyer Bristow has joined the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Knight Frank, Home Builders Federation and others in saying that swift action is needed to prevent further damage to the market.
Janet Armstrong-Fox, partner and head of private client property at Collyer Bristow, says: “The residential market is all but at a standstill and will remain so until the current restrictions are lifted. Even then, a slow return to a buoyant market is predicted. Clearly something is needed to kick-start the housing market.”
She continues: “We recognise that this will be a sizeable challenge for government: stamp duty has been a cash cow for HMRC coffers and will come at a time when it will be looking to increase tax revenues following the extensive support offered throughout the Covid-19 crisis.
“Whilst a stamp duty holiday is unlikely, a reduced rate for a set period of time for homes under a £500,000 threshold, and perhaps even higher in London, would provide the stimulus needed to reignite the market.”
But Armstrong-Fox says the action is needed urgently.
“We would urge government to act swiftly in introducing any relaxation of the stamp duty regime as the rumours of such a move may further dampen the housing market with buyers and sellers waiting for fear of missing out on some impending relaxation” she urges.