Urgent calls to extend Stamp Duty Holiday

Posted in January 2021

Campaigning to extend the Stamp Duty holiday intensifies as the impending deadline draws closer

Urgent calls to extend Stamp Duty Holiday

With so many buyers racing against the clock to beat the impending deadline of 31st March 2021, NAEA Propertymark are urgently calling for the Stamp Duty/LTT/LBTT holiday to be extended across the UK.   This will help to avoid the inevitable but subsequent consequences that are likely to occur, such as transactions falling through, a fall in house prices and a detrimental effect on the housing market which has up until now, performed remarkably well despite the Covid-19 pandemic.  Which is why the trade body is calling for agency support from the housing market.

Propertymark have therefore, asked all agents to join their campaign to extend the cut to Stamp Duty by writing to their local MP to outline their experiences and asking them to make representation to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak ahead of the Budget on 3rd March 2020.

Propertymark said “Our collective efforts and your role with your local representatives are vital in making the campaign effective.” 

They have also called for an extension to the SDLT for another 6 months, to allow those who have an offer formally accepted prior to the end of the current cut to Stamp Duty, or any further extension, to qualify for the relief.

The Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark Mark Hayward commented: “The boom, caused by the property tax holiday, has been hugely beneficial for the housing market; however, the property tax cliff edge on 31?March 2021 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-19 slump.”

In addition, a group of 50 Conservative MPs have already called on the Chancellor to extend the Stamp Duty cut for properties worth less than £500,000 for an additional 12 months, campaigning alongside The Telegraph’s ‘Stamp Out the Duty’ campaign, which was launched last week.

The MPs, who form the Northern Research Group (NRG), have been renewing the concerns raised from industry experts that by ending the Stamp Duty holiday, this could dramatically trigger a sharp drop in property prices and transactions in 2021.

The Northern Research Group is led by Tory party MP and former solicitor who served as the minister for the Northern Powerhouse Jake Berry, who has warned the Chancellor that “to relinquish support now would cause long-term damage to large parts of the North and weaken our recovery”.

The Conservative MP for Carlisle - John Stevenson, said: “What the Chancellor did was very, very beneficial for the housing market.

“The stamp duty cut gave it confidence. Maintaining that confidence in the housing market is beneficial for the wider economy. The housing market is a big chunk of the economy… it has a huge supply chain behind it.”

The House of Commons previously confirmed there would be a debate about Stamp Duty after a petition on the UK government’s website for the current Stamp Duty holiday to be extended until September 2021, secured sufficient signatures to qualify for debate in parliament.

However, the leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has temporarily suspended debates in Westminster Hall, meaning that the Stamp Duty holiday extension might not be debated in parliament. 

The  online petition to extend the Stamp Duty holiday for an additional 6 months after 31st March 2021 has already attracted around 120,000 signatures and has proved very popular with buyers and sellers, agents, mortgage lenders, surveyors, and conveyancing solicitors. 

Because of the Covid-19 outbreak, all sittings in Westminster Hall, where petitions debates take place, will be suspended until further notice.

However, the Chair of the Petitions Committee Catherine McKinnell has urgently called on the government to start making plans to restart petitions debates, following the decision to temporarily suspend sittings in Westminster Hall.

Catherine McKinnell, a Labour MP, said: “On behalf of the millions of people waiting to have their petitions debated, I am disappointed that the government hasn’t made it possible for debates to continue virtually while Westminster Hall has to close.

“The Petitions Committee will continue to take action on petitions, including taking evidence, speaking to petitioners and holding our own virtual sessions, but I hope that in the coming weeks the government will bring forward plans to make sure that petition debates can restart as soon as possible, and including as many MPs as possible.”

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