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stamp duty

BUDGET 2021: Stamp duty holiday extended

The chancellor’s decision to extend the stamp duty holiday beyond the end of this month has been welcomed by most homebuyers and estate agents.

A phased end to the stamp duty holiday will turn “generation rent” into “generation buy”, Rishi Sunak claimed yesterday.

The scheme was due to come to an end on 31 March but now there will be a tapered extension until 30 September.

The tax break introduced last year will continue to apply to properties for sale up to a threshold £500,000 until 30 June. Rishi Sunak added that the nil rate band for stamp duty would subsequently drop to £250,000 until the end of September, returning to the standard cut off rate of £125,000 from 1 October. Sunak said the decision would help many buyers who would not meet the original deadline and to continue to stimulate the property market.

Yesterday’s stamp duty extension is not just welcome news for thousands of homebuyers-in-waiting and agents, but also provides “a tonic” for thousands of conveyancers, according to Andy Sommerville, director of Search Acumen.

“Conveyancers have been under pressure to complete due diligence on an industrial scale against a pressing deadline, and risking burnout at a time when businesses are still under government instructions to work from home,” he said. But he also warns that extending the stamp duty deadline is delaying the inevitable cliff edge.

The stamp duty holiday has once again shown the flaws in traditional working practices and flagged the need to future-proof the property market with a data-driven approach to drive transactions through to completion.

While the stamp duty holiday extension gives current buyers more time to benefit from the tax relief, Miles Robinson, head of mortgages at online mortgage broker Trussle, is urging the government to consider adopting a more tapered ending to the scheme from September. “This would guarantee the stamp duty holiday to buyers who have received a mortgage offer before a certain date,” he said. “Not only would this prevent a shock to the market, it would also shield buyers from the damaging costs of a collapsed purchase. A late stage collapse costs on average £5,439.80 in estate agent fees, valuations, surveys and legal costs.”

While it is positive to see the government listen to the views of agents and conveyancers on the coalface, as well as the property-buying public, more consideration should have been paid to calls for a more specific tapered end to the tax cut, according to Bryan Mansell, co-founder at Gazeal.

Original Articles used: Property Industry Eye, Best Advice, Mortgage Strategy

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