Stamp duty holiday to be extended by three months
The stamp duty holiday will be extended by three months to the end of the June, The Times reports.
While it was reported that ministers would opt for a six-week extension for those already in the process of buying a house, mortgage lenders apparently told ministers this would not be long enough to stop sales falling through.
It seems likely the extension will just be for those already in the process of buying a house, or who have received a mortgage offer by a particular date.
An announcement on stamp duty will likely be made when Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivers his budget on March 3rd.
Rob Houghton, chief executive of reallymoving, said: “This policy has been critical in keeping the housing market moving through the pandemic but I would urge the government to restrict this extension to buyers already in the conveyancing process – so those who have had their offer accepted and appointed a solicitor to undertake the conveyancing work.
“This gives buyers who began their homebuying journey in good time but have been subject to delays, a new window to complete.
“While the holiday has been helpful for second steppers and those higher up the ladder, it has also caused prices to rise dramatically over the last year at the expense of first-time buyers.
“They have faced greater competition for homes, price increases and a restricted mortgage market – which led to a 12% fall in the proportion of first-time buyers in the market in the second half of 2020.
“Encouraging a new rush of buyers into the market could once again have a detrimental effect on first-time buyer share which has recovered strongly since the start of the year, back up to 58% of transactions from a low of 46% last September.”