Peer-to-peer property lending platforms have renewed their calls for an extension to the stamp duty holiday amidst tougher Covid-19 restrictions.
In July, Chancellor Rishi Sunak cut stamp duty on the purchases of homes up to £500,000 in England and Wales.
However, millions were placed into the stricter Tier 4 restrictions for the South East and London on 20 December.
Platforms have called for the extension to the stamp duty holiday past its March 31 deadline so that people in areas with tougher coronavirus restrictions can utilise the government’s support.
“Viewings will slow down in a number of areas in Tier 4 so with the government doing everything in its power for businesses, extending furlough and its loan schemes, I would hope they would consider extending the stamp duty holiday to give people another few months’ to view properties and utilise the support,” said David Turner, co-founder and chief executive of Invest & Fund.
“There will be very few viewings in January and February so I would hope they extend the stamp duty holiday, perhaps to June.
“It seems sensible to extend it so people that are understandably a little reticent about viewing properties now have the opportunity to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday in safer times.”
Similarly, Lee Birkett, founder of JustUs, said the stamp duty holiday should be extended to support the housing market.
“I’m sure the government is working on a clear housing support scheme or policy for next year,” he said.
“Housing is the only thing the government can stimulate for the UK economy and I’m sure they will pull every lever they can. I’m sure there will be a delay with Brexit in the supply chain.”
Filip Karadaghi, co-founder and chief executive of LandlordInvest, agreed that the stamp duty holiday should be extended but said that this is unrelated to Tier 4 restrictions.
“I don’t think the two are connected,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s related to the Tier 4 lockdown as Tier 4 is a moving restriction that can change, and you never know what will happen and stamp duty applies across the whole nation.
“They extended the furlough and loan schemes to protect the economy and jobs, while the stamp duty holiday supports the real estate industry, keeping residential transactions strong and has benefits to the economy.
“It may be extended but I don’t think they’re related.”