The government should review its stamp duty holiday after implementing a national lockdown, industry stakeholders have claimed.
Lee Birkett, founder of JustUs, called for the extension on the stamp duty cut on purchases of homes up to £500,000 in England and Wales, which was introduced in July.
“Stamp duty is a welcome boost and the longer we have it the better, otherwise we may have a dramatic downturn, but there are just too many unknowns,” he said.
“We still don’t have clarity on what the housing support package is. There are many mortgage prisoners, which is why we want the JustUs People’s Mortgage, Help to Buy ends in February and stamp duty is a nice booster but not a long-term support package.
“I think the stamp duty holiday should be extended but we need a robust housing policy to replace Help to Buy and help mortgage prisoners.”
Mike Bristow, chief executive of CrowdProperty, said that the government should review the stamp duty holiday but would have to weigh it up with other measures.
“It could be extended but I’m not going to call or push for it,” he said.
“It’s very important we keep the property market moving but I think we need to be tapering these things off.
“Everyone needs to look at the bigger picture, the government needs to balance the books and that’s a very difficult challenge.
“It’s very easy to demand x, y and z but there’s only so many levers that can be pulled and my gut feeling is there are greater priorities in this economy to support with tax reductions.
“And we don’t want house prices rising as a result of the stamp duty cut.
“I think there’s reasonable evidence to show that taxation saving has increased demand for property and without a huge increase in supply that will lead to house price increases.”
Andrew Montlake, managing director of mortgage broker Coreco, said the lockdown could lead to an extension of the stamp duty holiday.
“Though the property market remains technically open, there will now be considerably more logistical issues for the simple reason that a lot of people will be working from home,” he said.
“Lenders, valuers and conveyancers are already experiencing bottlenecks and delays given the sheer amount of applications going through and the administrative upheaval caused by the latest lockdown will only serve to accentuate them.
“We would not be surprised if the Treasury makes an announcement this week about extending the stamp duty deadline to keep demand alive and give the property industry some much needed wiggle room.”