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Knight Frank: Coronavirus to hit transactions by 38% in 2020

The coronavirus-induced lockdown will result in 38% fewer transactions than last year, estate agent Knight Frank has predicted.

In all, there will be 526,000 fewer residential sales in 2020 compared to 2019.

There were also be 350,000 fewer mortgage approvals, £4.4bn lost in stamp duty and a reduction of £1.6bn in VAT receipts.

To get the housing market moving again Knight Frank was the latest firm to call for a stamp duty holiday, while it also requested for an extension to the Help to Buy scheme to give developers a boost.

Liam Bailey, partner, global head of research, GB, Knight Frank, said: “Despite the fact the government will forgo a significant amount of stamp duty revenue in 2020, it seems clear there will need to be a stamp duty holiday to actually get the market moving once the lockdown is lifted, but this move alone will not be enough – there will need to be moves across a wider number of areas including an extension to Help to Buy to support first time buyers and support activity across all price bands.”

He added that the government could extend the time existing pending planning permissions are valid for, given that developers are currently unable to start building on sites.

Meanwhile conveyancing could be improved by removing the reliance on pen and paper and instead focusing on the implementation of blockchain, which the Land Registry has been trialling.