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Housing market braces for post-Covid ‘triple whammy’ as measures end

Covid measures brought in to stimulate the economy and housing market, and protect tenants from job losses, end today.

Nigel Lewis

covid ending

Estate agents will be bracing themselves today as a  ‘triple whammy’ hits the property market today with three key Covid-related policies expiring.

Regulations relaxed during the pandemic for stamp duty, evictions and the furlough scheme all expire today, leaving the sales and lettings markets exposed to a full dose of post-Covid reality.

Stamp duty

The final effects of the stamp duty holiday announced on 3rd March by Chancellor Rishi Sunak end today.

The nil rate for SDLT had been set at £500,000 from early March until the end of June 2021.

Then from 1 July to 30 September the nil rate band reduced to £250,000, returning to £125,000 today.


The Covid measure to end today is evictions. Landlords and letting agents seeking to evict tenants in England will now only have to give two months’ notice rather than the six months that had to be given prior to today.

“Smaller portfolio landlords in particularly can’t be tenant ‘banks’ forever; at some point they have to cut their losses and find a new person who can pay the rent,” evictions expert Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action told BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme yesterday.

Furlough finish

HMRC’s furlough scheme, which has cost the government £70 billion but protected 11.6 people from redundancy, is also finishing today, casting perhaps the longest shadow over economic confidence.

The Chancellor, who is preparing for his keynote speech a the looming Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, says: “Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak said:

“I am immensely proud of the furlough scheme, and even more proud of UK workers and businesses whose resolve has seen us through an immensely difficult time.

“With the recovery well underway, and more than 1 million job vacancies, now is the right time for the scheme to draw to a close.”

By the end of June this year, the property industry has received £600 million in furlough support.

October 1, 2021

One comment

  1. The Stamp Duty coming to an end has been a 2 step phase with a finite end. Estate Agents have enjoyed the challenges in keeping up with Residential Property Sales and Lettings. Buyers and Sellers have reaped the benefits, whether down-sizing and putting away a little nest egg, or taking the opportunity to up-size.
    With the ‘Covid-19’ measures ending today, I can’t help but ponder the sheer burden felt by Landlords & Agents alike as the courts become swamped by eviction notices. Where will these residents go now? Certainly not into the number of social housing projects promised by Government. I don’t think Landlords should hold their breath and expect the 2 month deadline to be achieved.
    In respect of the Furlough Scheme ending, I have heard arguments from parents now working from home, that companies should pay for their child-care as they can’t afford to return to work and meet this cost. Perhaps Government would be better supporting working parents with the provision of affordable child-care – local authorities to take up the challenge. Our childcare is after all, one of the most expensive in Europe; families could then afford decent homes and rented accommodations.

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