Industry Comments as Stamp Duty Holiday Ends

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The UK’s Stamp Duty holiday came to a close yesterday following a year in which the number of house transactions and prices soared.

The end of the Stamp Duty means that buyers are now liable to pay the tax on sales of homes worth less than £500,000. Rightmove data suggested that the holiday had benefitted around 1.3m buyers in the country. However, the average price of a home in this time rose more than £16,000.

There was much industry comment on the end of the Stamp Duty holiday.

Rob Barnard, director of intermediaries at Masthaven Bank, said:  “Despite the difficulties the property industry has faced in the last year or so, including the complete suspension of activity in the first lockdown, house prices have reached all-time highs and property transactions have gone through the roof. The Stamp Duty holiday has certainly played a part in accelerating activity in the market and the end of the tax holiday might well pour some cold water on the hopes of prospective buyers.

He added: “There are, however, bigger challenges to come. The recent frenetic market activity has been at least partly artificial, driven by the release of pent-up demand and massive levels of government spending in many parts of the economy. Potential buyers may find that their personal finances take a bigger hit later this year when the furlough scheme ends and various government lending schemes are withdrawn. Once these Covid programmes are removed, borrowers will still need support.

Others weighed in. Hema Anand, partner and head of residential property at BDB Pitmans, said: “The impact of the extended stamp duty holiday has been tremendous. This is clear from the significant increase in instructions across the country and relating to all values. There has been an unprecedented number of completions in June. It is the kick start the residential property market required to address pent up demand, which has been sluggish for several years. Let’s see if the momentum continues with the lesser stamp duty saving.”

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