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Most UK homebuyers want to see stamp duty holiday extended

Kalila Sangster
·2-min read
An Elevated View Of Town Houses In Wales, United Kingdom
Nearly half of movers are concerned that their sale will not complete by the 31 March deadline. Photo: Getty

Two-thirds (67%) of UK homebuyers would like to see the current stamp duty holiday extended, according to new research from mortgage broker, Enness Global.

Nearly half (48%) of movers are concerned that their sale will not complete by the deadline which is currently 31 March, meaning they will still have to pay stamp duty.

Since the introduction of the stamp duty holiday last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the housing market skyrocketed with mortgage approvals, transactions and house prices all increasing in 2020.

With buyers flooding the market there have been notable delays and a backlog of sales, largely at the backend legal stages of the transaction process, meaning some are at risk of missing the stamp duty deadline, according to the research.

Although many have pointed to the stamp duty holiday as the reason for the heightened activity in the UK property market, just 25% of homebuyers stated that it was the driving motivation behind their decision to buy, with 71% buying for alternative reasons, according to the survey of over 1,000 UK homebuyers.

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“There are around 1 million transactions completed a year and so a 25% boost translates to hundreds of thousands of additional sales,” said Hugh Wade-Jones, managing director of Enness Global Mortgages.

“It’s clear that the opportunity to save on stamp duty has helped to revitalise the UK property market in what have been tough times due to COVID.

However, despite the majority of homebuyers hoping for an extension on the 31 March deadline, “it looks unlikely that we will see an extension beyond the original March deadline,” said Wade-Jones.

“With the clock ticking, those yet to complete due to current market delays will be forgiven if an air of panic is starting to set in, having had an offer accepted well in advance of the deadline.

“Perhaps a fair alternative to an extension would be to allow those who have an offer formally accepted prior to the end of March to also qualify for stamp duty relief.”

READ MORE: £170bn worth of property 'sitting empty' across England

Thousands of UK homebuyers could pull the plug on their deals if the stamp duty holiday is not extended, according to a separate survey.

Nearly three quarters (74%) of homebuyers are likely to cancel their planned move if they have to pay stamp duty, according to a survey of over 1,000 people by The Guild of Property Professionals.

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