Calls to extend the Stamp Duty Holiday
A petition which was launched towards the end of October 2020 and gained sufficient support for it to be heard in Parliament was discussed in a virtual debate yesterday.
The 90-minute debate saw ministers respond to the requests for an extension to the deadline which was set for Wednesday 31st March 2021.
It is understood that circa 613,000 properties are in the national sales pipeline and as many as 100,000 may miss out on the tax break and that would result in lost savings of around £15,000 per transaction on average.
MPs debated the pros and cons of the holiday including lost revenue to the Treasury if extended which was countered by claims of lost revenue from the wider economy if transactions levels in the property market fall. Suggestions were made that included the possibility of extending the scheme outright as well as with limitations, the latter perhaps permitting those already in the sales pipeline to complete transactions without missing out on the savings. More bold statements that the threshold is permanently set at the current £500,000 level were also made.
“I think those already in the pipeline need to push their legal advisors on both sides so that everyone involved in a deal is focused on meeting the deadline but for those not yet in that position and given the delays we have seen in converting acceptable offers to completed sales time is very much running out,” said Melissa Lines, Senior Associate and Branch Manager/Valuer at the Durham office of George F. White.
Melissa adds “My advice would be that if you are looking to sell your property it needs to be on the market now, if the holiday is extended it is likely only to be for a fixed time and I wouldn’t recommend waiting for a Government announcement before you act”.
As it stands the discussion in Parliament merely repeated the conversations that have already taken place on many a property forum and no decision was reached, eyes are now firmly on Rishi Sunak and his budget statement scheduled for Wednesday 3rd March.
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