Most Brits in favour of stamp duty holiday extension

Suban Abdulla
·3 min read
A long row of traditional Victorian terraced houses in Ealing, West London, below a clear blue summer sky.
The scheme which has been credited with stimulating a boost in the UK housing market was launched in July 2020 and waives stamp duty on properties valued up to £500,000 ($670,000). Photo: Getty

UK chancellor Rishi Sunak is facing mounting pressure to extend the stamp duty holiday ahead of his 3 March budget announcement.

New research from MoneySupermarket shows that almost three quarters (74%) of Britons support the extension of the stamp duty holiday scheme.

The stamp duty holiday, which is due to come to an end of March could be extended for another three months to 30 June this year.

Of the 5,000 respondents, 19% responded that it was no longer needed, 7% had no opinion.

The scheme which has been credited with stimulating a boost in the UK housing market was launched in July 2020 and waives stamp duty on properties valued up to £500,000 ($670,000).

Earlier study from the price-comparison website found 63% of prospective buyers are in the market due to the scheme. 60% said they would change plans if the scheme is not extended — 24% say they would withdraw from the market completely.

The same research also showed that the policy had an impact on the selling decisions of homeowners.

WATCH: What do stamp duty cuts mean for buyers and house prices?

Meanwhile, 57% had been encouraged to place their property on the market, despite not previously considering selling their house before, due to the scheme.

READ MORE: Rightmove predicts strong UK housing activity despite drop in revenue

Jo Thornhill, finance expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Our research shows that there’s clear appetite for the Chancellor to formally extend the stamp duty holiday past its current end date of 31st March.

“The policy has clearly proved popular with buyers, stimulating a boom in the market despite the challenging conditions in the wider economy. And, crucially, it has removed another cost for many first-time buyers, making that first step onto the ladder that little bit easier.

“While we welcome an extension, looking further ahead, a phased deadline where the benefits are gradually reduced would prevent a ‘cliff edge’ scenario which puts pressure on the market overall.

“Aside from the stamp duty holiday — we believe the government needs to put in place longer term support for the housing market. It’s still far too difficult for first time buyers to buy a home and for most young adults it’s a far-off dream. One way of doing this would be to support an increase the availability of mortgages for those with a 5% deposit. We know this is something the government is looking into and we’re looking forward to seeing their proposals in due course.”

A separate research from Knight Frank showed that an overwhelming majority (87%) of respondents believe the stamp duty holiday should be extended in the March budget.

Among the 500 of Knight Frank's clients surveyed, 35% said they would not pull out of a deal if it wasn’t going to complete before the stamp duty holiday ends.

More than half (52%) said they would attempt to renegotiate the purchase price if the deal wasn’t going to complete before the stamp duty holiday ends.

The survey also found that the latest lockdown appears to have reinforced trends that emerged after the market reopened last May, with the search for space, more greenery and the ability to work from home remaining at the forefront of people’s minds.