Stamp duty extension is a head in the sand approach to prolong the inevitable – industry reacts to deadline extension

Following the news of a stamp duty holiday extension, Matthew Cooper, Founder & Managing Director of Yes Homebuyers, commented: “You have to question the sanity of a government that deliberately chooses to intensify an already serious issue by repeating the exact cause of the issue in the first place.

“Those looking to purchase the most expensive asset in their life are arguably some of the least in need of financial support in the current climate.

“When you couple this with the angst felt by many current homebuyers due to the huge market delays already caused by the stamp duty holiday, it seems fairly irresponsible to add further fuel to the flames with a deadline extension.

“We know that a large proportion of transactions are in danger of falling through, bringing property values down with them. So reading between the lines, it certainly looks as though the government are taking a head in the sand approach to prolong the inevitable rather than extending a genuine helping hand to homebuyers.”

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented: “Thousands of homebuyers across the nation will be breathing a huge sigh of relief over the announcement to extend the current stamp duty deadline, having spent months on end waiting to complete with no finish line in sight.

“That said, those currently working in overdrive to clear the backlog of transactions at the legal stages may feel differently, with many more months of long days now on the cards.

“We’ve seen the market pause for breath in recent months as a huge influx of buyer activity has subsided as the deadline approached. With this extension, we can expect yet another mad scramble by homebuyers to secure a saving and while they can continue to expect long delays while doing so, this will ensure that market sentiment remains high and prices continue to climb.”

CEO of Keller Williams UK, Ben Taylor, commented: “The original stamp duty holiday was on course to save homebuyers as much as £1.5bn in tax and so this extension will further boost this figure and ensure that many more benefit as a result.

“Despite the wider economic backdrop, hunger for homeownership remains high and this latest news will further wet the appetite of homebuyers and help keep the market stable until such time that normality has fully returned.”

Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester, commented: “The government has administered yet another adrenaline shot directly to the heart of the property market and this should have the desired impact with regard to maintaining overall market health as we ease out of lockdown.

“The property market has stood tall and weathered the economic uncertainty posed by the pandemic and so it makes sense that the government would want to cling to this as perhaps their only indicator of handling the situation successfully.

“Of course, while a welcome move for many, it is simply another attempt to maintain an overheating housing market by fuelling demand rather than tackling the real issue of building more homes.”