The MPs committee that hosted a debate on the Stamp Duty holiday extension following a petition signed by 150,000 people has welcomed the Chancellor’s decision to heed the concerns of the home buying public and do a U-turn.
On 16th December the Treasury made it clear that there would be no extension when the petition had only 22,000 signatures, saying: “SDLT is an important source of government revenue, raising several billion pounds each year to help pay for the essential services the Government provides”.
But once the petition reached an unprecedented 150,000 votes a few weeks ago, the Government changed its mind.
Nevertheless, the chair of the committee has warned that without a tapering system to enable buyers to complete their purchases, the same ‘cliff face’ will soon occur once more.
Or two, in fact. The first date will be 31st July when the zero-rate exemption will be restricted to homes for sale under £250,000 and 31st September, when it will be withdrawn entirely.
Catherine McKinnell (pictured, above), says: “The Stamp Duty holiday announcement will come as a relief to petitioners, but the Government must also ensure that this relief is tapered off in a way which gives house-buyers every opportunity to complete their transactions without being penalised for events outside their control.”
And some people with the property industry agree. “This is a form of tapering that will help to avoid a cliff-edge in June, but the potential savings do drop considerably and so many transactions will come under pressure to complete before that first deadline,” says Karen Rodrigues, Director of Sales at eConveyancer.
Estate agency and former RICS residential chairman Jeremy Leaf (pictured) adds: I have to say the Chancellor probably gets ‘B’ or ‘B-minus’ on his report card as the Stamp Duty extension, including the tapering, is welcome but there will be another mini cliff-edge in the autumn when this latest holiday finally comes to an end.”