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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Stamp duty holiday may be extended for some buyers - report

The Chancellor is considering extending the stamp duty holiday for a short period according to a newspaper report this morning.

The Daily Telegraph, quoting an unnamed government source, says Rishi Sunak may extend the March 31 deadline by six weeks to mid-May, to avoid tens of thousands of fall throughs and what it calls a “completion trap.”

“It is certainly the case that a lot of people would be caught in the completion trap if the holiday were to end when it is due to” the source tells the Telegraph.

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There is no mention of what would happen to buyers whose transactions are now underway but may not complete even by mid-May.

Sunak has apparently dismissed calls for a longer, six month extension because of the damage that would do to tax receipts at a time when the government is seeking to recoup lost income.

Officially the government does not make fiscal announcements outside of major events such as the Budget, scheduled for March 3. 

However, the Telegraph is closely aligned with government thinking and has given advance information on new policies in the recent past. The paper has also mounted a strident campaign in recent weeks in favour of an extension to the stamp duty holiday.

The government yesterday confirmed that another March 31 deadline - for buyers using the current Help to Buy equity loan scheme in England - would be extended.

Homes England, the government body presiding over the scheme, announced it would extend the deadline until May 31 for new build completion and purchase, to give buyers and house builders more time.

This is the third extension to this scheme’s proposed closure. 

  • Rob Hailstone

    Unless I am missing something, it makes no sense to just extend the SDLT holiday. Another batch of would-be purchasers will simply miss the next deadline.

    Surely, the Government either has to be creative or leave well alone at this late stage?

    It is like saying, good news Mr Hailstone your lethal execution date has been out off six weeks. Still going to happen, still going to be just as scary and just as final. Just prolongs the agony.

    Frances Spicer

    The deadline should be extended for those buyers who exchanged by a cut off date e.g. 31/12/20 but NOT for 6th month or a raft of new buyers would jump on the bandwagon & the same dilemma would happen again in 6 months time.
    The 1st Covid lockdown shut building sites then absent furloughed vulnerable workers & long delays obtaining building supplies due to factory closures during 1st lockdown all contributed to lengthier buying processes!

     
  • Matt Faizey

    ^100% this

  • Rob Hailstone

    My execution Matt:)

  • John Evans

    Will the ones who miss the next date have another six weeks? If this is announced now, we will have even more people thinking they may be able to hit this date if they offer now.

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    Extend by 2/3 weeks, that way it won't encourage anyone else in, but give hope to those stuck with local authority searches and mortgage offers from the likes of santander or co-op.

  • Simon Brown ESTAS

    I totally agree Rob (not your execution;)). Would it not be more sensible to just extend it for those already in a transaction? Otherwise it will just extend the stress period for agents and especially conveyancers.

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