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Leading estate agency calls for Stamp Duty holiday to revive market

Knight Frank says industry will see 38% of property sales disappear this year due to Coronavirus and is calling for drastic measures to be implemented to get people moving again.

Nigel Lewis

stamp duty

Knight Frank has predicted that property sales are to drop overall by 38% during 2020 because of the Coronavirus assuming the lockdown lasts until early June, and called for a Stamp Duty holiday.

The estate agency has also said that mortgage approvals will dip by 350,000 this year, one of the other key revenue streams for the industry, while removals firms will lose £395 million.

But Knight Frank has a plan that it is lobbying government to implement in order to ensure that the property market revives quickly in June.

“Moving home has a clear multiplier effect for the economy,” said Tom Bill, head of London Residential Research at Knight Frank. “Different-sized businesses in all areas of the economy feel these benefits, which is something the government will take into account when drawing up its post-lockdown stimulus plan.”

Knight Frank is calling for a stamp duty holiday, an extension to Help to Buy, and several measures to speed up the home buying and building processes.

This includes a shake-up of the conveyancing process, the introduction of virtual planning meetings and a relaxation of Section 106 planning rules and the up-front paying of the Community Infrastructure Levy to help developers’ cashflow.

Liam Bailey Knight FrankLiam Bailey (left), Global Head of Research at Knight Frank, comments: “Despite the fact the government will forgo a significant amount of stamp duty revenue in 2020, it seems clear there will need to be a stamp duty holiday to actually get the market moving once the lockdown is lifted, but this move alone will not be enough – there will need to be moves across a wider number of areas.

Read more about Stamp Duty.

April 20, 2020

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