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Stamp duty holiday to be extended

A recent report by The Times has suggested that the stamp duty holiday will now be lengthened by three months.

Although it was heard that government ministers would agree to a six-week long extension for home buyers who are partway through the process of purchasing a property, mortgage lenders informed them this term wouldn’t be long enough for sales not to fall through.

Available information suggests that any new extension may be only for those already involved in the house buying process, or who were in receipt of a mortgage offer by a specific date. It is believed that an official announcement regarding stamp duty is likely to come when Chancellor Sunak delivers the Budget.

The stamp duty holiday has been instrumental in providing momentum for the housing market during the pandemic, however, experts have suggested that an extension of the policy should be limited to homebuyers who have already appointed their solicitor to handle the conveyancing process.

The extension will offer buyers who have experienced delays despite starting the purchasing process early with a larger window they can complete in. Although the stamp duty holiday has provided considerable assistance to those already on the property ladder, it has also seen a sharp increase in house prices, which has created a challenging set of circumstances for many first-time buyers here in the UK, including a restricted market and a greater level of competition.

Despite these challenges, first time buyers have regained ground, rising from 46 percent last September to represent 58 percent of all transactions.