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)