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Stamp duty holiday should be tapered off – BSA

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  • 15/12/2020
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Stamp duty holiday should be tapered off – BSA
Confidence in the housing market has fallen with job insecurity suggesting the stamp duty fillip may be coming to an end, a survey has found.

 

Just over a quarter of people think now is a good time to buy, compared to more than a third of people in September, according to research by the Building Societies Association (BSA).

Sentiment has fallen the most in Scotland and Wales, while job insecurity is the biggest barrier to buying a new home.

However, nine out of 10 mortgage borrowers are confident in their own ability to make their monthly payments.

There’s a North/South divide in house price expectations with those in the South and Midlands are more confident that prices will rise over the next 12 months.

Paul Broadhead, head of mortgage and housing policy at the BSA (pictured), said: “While confidence in buying a property has declined, the market is still dealing with the demand created by the stamp duty holiday and the capacity constraints in completing the surveys, valuations and searches in a Covid-secure way before the 31 March deadline.

“To help alleviate this we have proposed a tapered end to the stamp duty holiday to government, where those who have accepted a mortgage offer by 31 January are given an extra three months to complete the purchase, while still benefiting from the tax reduction.

“Continuing with the proposed cliff edge end could potentially have a damaging impact on the property market, particularly if those whose sale doesn’t complete within the deadline walk away from the transaction.

“Looking ahead, there are significant concerns around job security and while households currently remain confident in their own personal finances, lenders will continue to support those who face payment difficulties, including accepting requests for mortgage payment deferrals up to 31 January 2021.”

 

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