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“Chaos and mayhem!” Phil Spencer’s warning over stamp duty extension

Property expert Phil Spencer is warning that “chaos” and “mayhem” looms in the housing market if the stamp duty holiday is not extended.

Speaking to Graham Norton on Virgin Radio he said: “I think chaos would ensue if the stamp duty holiday did end on a specific date, because everybody would be working towards that day. 

“It’s great to keep people motivated towards that day but actually, if they haven't completed their deals on that date, the chances are that deals will be collapsing left right and centre. It will just be bedlam.”


This is not the first warning on the subject from the Location Location Location presenter.

Just before Christmas he tweeted: “The stamp duty holiday has been successful in activating the market. Ending on a cliff edge will create utter chaos! Surely it can be phased out? Timescales on deals slip more often than they don’t. The motivation behind people moving could disappear in a single day. Utter madness!"

The call for some sort of tapered extension to the current March 30 deadline has grown in recent weeks, heightened by the current lockdown forcing many in the transaction process to work from home.

An online petition calling for an extension - first put online in October - has moved from around 30,000 signatures to well over 54,000 in the past fortnight. 

Spencer continued telling Norton: “The market is surprisingly busy and surprisingly buoyant. And given the housing market is generally driven by sentiment, I would have thought it should be dragging along the floor at the moment. But there's an awful lot of people trying to do an awful lot of deals just at the moment.”

Meanwhile Spencer’s TV presenter partner Kirstie Allsopp, on the same Virgin Radio programme, said she was sceptical of the growing reliance on virtual tours and internet listings, especially during the Coronavirus crisis.

“I think house hunting on the internet is overrated. You can achieve a lot in terms of finding out about the local area. You've got the brilliant aerial shots, but it's a very physical auditory, nose, see, smell, taste, touch type thing” she told Norton.

“I think there's been a bit of people thinking that they've seen something when they've seen it over the Internet and that's not seeing something.”

You can hear the show here.

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    I like her idea you taste properties, usually this sense is used in the Stanton household to eat cakes. Kirsty may feel Zoom will never catch on too, but scarily, it went from 37,000 UK users in Jan 2020 to 1.58M by late November - adoption can be a swift and sustained movement.

  • Matt Faizey

    Zoom would quickly fall away and be forgotten should agents start utilising full 360degree photography in each room.

    Now that would be useful

  • Mark Walmsley

    I completely agree with both Phil and Kirsty in both regards. Which is unusual....

  • icon
    • N W
    • 11 January 2021 11:52 AM

    we use 360 tours and have done so since we re started in May. They have increased sales, as well as physical viewings and we have even sold some where the buyers (living overseas but returning home) have never been able to physically view. I wouldn't market a home without them these days unless there were really good reasons for not producing an immersive 360 tour.

  • icon

    Having used a Giraffe360 device for 12 months I would totally endorse the comments by N W above.
    We have sold property in the first Lockdown that completed without the buyer seeing the property until they collected keys from us, also European buyers who could not gain access to the UK have purchased and completed on a property just shy of £1m using the virtual tour as thier only means of viewing.
    Can not rate this system high enough!


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