Because of this, buyers and sellers may have already decided on their position on any future moves.
However, with just under three months to go, professionals in the industry are still hopeful that the government will extend the deadline or give a grace period to progressed transactions.
Depending on the details, this could relieve pressure felt on the industry or make people think they have second chance to benefit from the tax break causing another rush.
So this week, Mortgage Solutions is asking: Would a last–minute stamp duty deadline U-turn cause more chaos in the market?
We have had enough time for it. To be honest, I think it’s time for the industry to get on with things and accept business has to eventually go back to normal.
The stamp duty holiday has presumably already had its desired side effect of helping the sector to recover. The property market has not been shut down like it was last time so we should be able to get on with things.
If they planned correctly, the buyers who would have been able to benefit from it more than likely have already moved and made their saving anyway.
Their next best bet is probably waiting for after the deadline to see if prices come back down.
We cannot control the other side of things, we can only do our best. We are already telling our clients to make sure they have the money in the bank to cover the costs of stamp duty if it turns out they miss the deadline.
In my opinion it would depend on the extent to which the deadline is extended.
If the stamp duty deadline is extended by four to five weeks to allow the transactions in progress, that look likely to miss the cut off, to still take advantage of the saving then this would not allow many buyers to complete a new transaction.
So, a shorter extension will probably not have too much of an effect on the market except from saving a lot of wasted money on costs around transactions falling through.
If the deadline is extended by three to six months, then we may well see chaos.
This could be because those who had thought taking advantage of the holiday was not possible will instead wait for any price changes post–stamp duty deadline or those who just missed it in general will rush to take advantage of it and these transactions will need to move forward very quickly.
If we have a more long-term holiday, of six months or longer, then I do not think we will see chaos as people can take a more considered approach on how to take advantage of the holiday and will fuel the market for the longer term.
Prior to the national lockdown announced this week, I thought an extension to the 31 March deadline for stamp duty was necessary. Now, I know it is essential.
Government support to the market during the pandemic has been very welcome but removing it on 31 March is arguably more damaging than having done nothing in the first place. A lot of transactions will fall over, and consumers will start to put any plans on hold.
The government should look to extend it until the end of the summer – at least – with a promise to review stamp duty in its entirety at the next budget.
The standard current rates of stamp duty are damaging to all sectors of the UK housing market and reducing this burden will give a boost to the economy and the UK as a whole.
The coronavirus pandemic will have made many of us question where is best to live and in what sort of property. Do we want more room for a dedicated office? Would it be beneficial for families to have more green space?
As such, a government that enables people to execute their decision to move by reducing the stamp duty burden will be making both a very wise political and economic move.