After much speculation in the media and backed by a fierce cross-party campaign, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has finally confirmed that the stamp duty holiday will be extended beyond the initial March 31st deadline to the end of September.
This extension will bring much-needed clarity to the thousands who are in the middle of property transactions and will bolster confidence in the market. Recent data from Rightmove suggests that extending the scheme to the end of June will see an additional 300,000 sales in England able to benefit from the holiday - equating to buyers collectively saving £1.75bn in tax, with 80% paying no stamp duty.
While presumably being well received by most (struggling conveyancers are another story), to avoid simply moving the cliff-edge along, the Chancellor has tapered the end of the scheme by extending it as it stands until June 30th where the nil rate band will drop to £250k before finally ending the holiday on 30th September.
Many had predicted that by not tapering the extension, more buyers would have joined the race to take advantage. And around and around we go.
However, what is important to remember here is that the Treasury is not concerned with how much money individuals can save. The cost to the Treasury is their main concern. And with a six-month extension likely to cost them billions more in lost stamp duty on top of the £3bn already written off, this may be as good as it gets.