Growing numbers of independent mortgage brokers including many of those working in estate agency branches have told a poll that their businesses remain unaffected by the Covid pandemic, helped by the mini-boom created by the Stamp Duty holiday.
Buy-to-let lender Paragon canvassed brokers across the spectrum and found that 68% said they had shrugged off the economic problems caused by Covid, up from 59% last year.
And 20% said their businesses were stronger than before the virus arrived in the UK, while only 9% reported plans to scale back their businesses.
“During the early days of the pandemic, brokers were heading into the unknown, plus they were dealing with a complete lockdown of the housing market,” says Richard Rowntree, its Director of Mortgages (pictured).
“The easing of that lockdown, combined with the demand for house purchase created by the stamp duty holiday, has meant brokers are far more confident about the longer-term prospects for their business.
“Many intermediaries will be busy focusing on getting clients’ deals over the line ahead of the 31 March deadline.”
But leading developer London Square is the latest blue-chip property company to warn that brokers’ confidence may be short-lived unless the stamp duty holiday deadline is extended.
Adam Lawrence (pictured), its chief executive, is calling for the Chancellor to act now to extend the Stamp Duty holiday and not “abandon buyers” trying to meet an impossible deadline.
“An extension to the Stamp Duty holiday needs to be followed by action to scrap stamp duty altogether.
“The housing market is an essential engine room in the UK economy, with a ripple effect which extends across the furniture and furnishing industries, the removals sector, gardens and landscaping, and all the associated trades connected with homes such as decorators, plumbers and electricians, keeping people in jobs and businesses flourishing.”