SDLT holiday shouldn’t just be stopped dead

Following on from the comment from the Treasury which outlined the government’s plans to not extend the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday, calls have now been made for the holiday to not just stop dead.

Following the announcement of the SDLT holiday, buyers and sellers flooded the housing market as people wanted to take advantage of the savings, and it is thought there are over 600,000 housing transactions working their way through the pipeline.

This has meant a busy time for conveyancers and subsequent services that are relied upon to keep the property market moving.

Now the Building Societies Association (BSA), have voiced their concerns about the the impact the deadline of 31 March 2021 has on the industry.

In an article published in the Mortgage Finance Gazette, Robin Feith, Chief Executive of the BSA revealed that the organisation had been talking with HM Treasury and advocated a tapering of the holiday.

Speaking to the Mortgage Finance Gazette, Robin said:

“Our suggestion is simple but sensible. Any transaction where the mortgage approval has been granted by the end of March should be given an additional three months to complete.

“That way the buyer can still benefit from the temporary reduction in stamp duty and  have extra time to complete – up to 30 June 2021.

“As well as preventing a market damaging cliff-edge, this would also help to reduce operational pressures before the deadline, particularly as some social distancing precautions are still likely to be in place; and many people will still be working from home.

“House buying can be delayed for various reasons and if there is a chain, it takes just one delayed or abandoned transaction to hold-up or collapse the chain.

“If buyers miss out on the stamp duty holiday and suddenly have to find a few more thousand pounds to pay the tax, some may not be able or wish to.

“In addition, with many people being furloughed and even losing their jobs, some buyers are pulling out of transactions as they are uncertain about their future finances. Let’s not add to market disturbance with stamp duty too.

“Stamp Duty Land Tax covers England and Northern Ireland but our campaign to taper the removal of the stamp duty goes further. It is also extended to the Parliaments in Wales regarding Land Transaction Tax and Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland.”

The full article can be found here.

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