The six weeks extension would increase the scheme to mid-May. This is the first announcement that a possible extension would be considered, with the official stance from the Treasury largely unchanged for months.
Requests for an extension to the scheme are not anything new, with a dispute currently raging in Government between individuals in favour of hiking taxes early, and those who say that raising them too fast will harm the economy.
The lockdown restrictions have certainly compounded the pressure on recent transactions with many working from home and might have health, work, or personal issues. It would appear to be prudent that extending the existing SDLT holiday for individuals that are committed to the buying process and allowing them to complete is the right thing to do.
Rightmove’s Director of Property Data stated that “Last year the market was unexpectedly buoyed by buyers’ determination to move and satisfy their new lockdown-induced housing needs. We may well be seeing a continuation of that this year.
“Rightmove’s early 2021 buyer data shows that despite the imminent end of the stamp duty incentive, all of the key buyer metrics are ahead of early 2020, itself an active period as the market was boosted by the post-election ‘Boris bounce’. As well as the current lockdown motivating buyer demand again, the restrictions have also been a factor in limiting new supply, leading to some modest upwards price pressure. These are strong signs that new buyer demand is not facing a cliff-edge after the 31st of March.
Overall stock for housing in England has fallen to a new record low as the effects of lockdown continue to reform the property market. This should support prices when lockdown is eased.