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Chancellor considering six-week Stamp Duty holiday extension

National newspaper say its sources within HM Treasury point to likely extension as political pressure grows on Sunak.

Nigel Lewis

Rishi Sunak is considering a six-week extension to the 31st March Stamp Duty holiday deadline, it has been reported over the weekend.

The Daily Telegraph has said the Chancellor, who has been under huge pressure to change his mind and consumer and property industry groups have urged him to extend the deadline, has finally twigged that action is needed.

This would mean buyers and sellers would have until the 12th May to get their deals to completion.

“I think this is a fairly easy-to-police idea – regardless of when an offer was made or accepted, buyers and sellers will have been given a hard-stop final date – and anyway, most people who made an offer based on the SDLT savings last year will be able to their deal over the line now,” says proptech and industry consultant Andrew Stanton.

If the Telegraph’s claims prove to be true, an element of political expediency may be involved; an SDLT holiday cut-off date on 12th May would be a week after the local election.

As the cut-off date currently stands, Sunak risks weeks of negative media headlines as thousands of buyers discover their purchases have not made the deadline.


The strength of feeling was demonstrated by the recent parliamentary petition calling for an extension started by a member of the public, which has now been signed by nearly 150,000 people.

But many agents are not convinced the 31st March deadline will be the catastrophe many have predicted.

“There’s seems to be this overarching opinion that the world will stop turning once the current Stamp Duty holiday expires and this is quite frankly ridiculous,” says Colby Short, CEO of GetAgent.

“The idea that the 31st March will act as a property market Armageddon, at which point all existing and future transactions will cease to exist, is just bonkers.”

Read the Telegraph’s claims (requires subscription)

February 14, 2021


  1. I agree with David Jabbari – 6 weeks just moves the cliff edge and does not ease the burden on the conveyancing process and will more likely increase it. The only sensible solution in my humble opinion is what I have been saying all along, all sales that are underway and draft contracts agreed, prior to the 31st March, should continue to benefit from the SDLT holiday. Mind you if they did both ie: extend deadline by 6 weeks and this. It would ease the pressure pot and hopefully life could get back to some sort of normality for agents and solicitors alike, about the same time as hopefully the lockdown will have ended as well….IF only!

  2. While we all would welcome this, I am still uncertain how this does anything more than move the cliff edge out by six weeks. Don’t forget it would also create a ‘late surge’ of new instructions. I think the Chancellor is more likely to do something along the lines of saying that all transactions where there has been an exchange of contracts before 31 March 2021 may benefit from the SDLT holiday even if they have not completed before that date. Not only does this create more certainty, it is also consistent with the comments a few weeks ago by Jesse Norman, the financial secretary to the Treasury, that stamp duty legislation recognises the concept of ‘substantial performance’ of a property contract as the key to assessing the effective date of a property transaction.

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