Comment: Decline in housing market may “undermine government’s plan for economic recovery”

Following the release of the latest housing figures which shows property transactions completed in January were the highest in a decade, Jonathan Sealey, CEO at specialist short-term lender Hope Capital, said: “For the first time since April when the bounce back in the property market began, we can see the level of residential transactions starting to decline in January, at 2.4% below December.

“With the clock ticking on the stamp duty holiday deadline, we are now seeing the impact of buyers deciding there simply isn’t enough time to make the purchase before March 31.

“The Chancellor Rishi Sunak will be on his feet next week to deliver a crucial Covid budget and many people in the property sector will be looking for a response to the demand for a review of the deadline. Without which there is a real prospect of this decline continuing, which would undermine the Government’s plans for economic recovery.

“The only realistic prospect left for people looking to beat the stamp duty at this point would be through specialist or short-term lending arrangements, where there is greater agility and flexibility.”