Property Reporter: Stamp duty holiday extension remains top of the budget wish list

Property Reporter
19th February 2021
Rishi Sunak 662

The latest data and analysis from Property Reporter has found that the majority of respondents to a survey concerning next month's budget have placed an extension to the current SDLT rules at the top of their wish list.

Property Reporter recently asked over 8,000 followers on its official Twitter account "What would you most like to see announced in the budget?"

According to the results, 40% of respondents stated that they would like the stamp duty holiday extending beyond the March 31st deadline. There had been no word from government until the Chancellor dropped hints in a recent interview that he is now considering a six-week extension to the scheme, which could prevent tens of thousands of potential home buyers from falling off a financial cliff edge.

An extension to the scheme would mirror the recent announcement the Help to Buy equity loan scheme would continue until the end of May.

Calls for an extension to the scheme are nothing new, with a debate currently raging in Government between those in favour of raising taxes early, and those who say that hiking them too fast will damage chances of recovery.

36.7% of respondents stated that they would like to see an announcement made in the budget to build more social housing.

"We will build, build, build", Boris said back in June last year amid warnings raised by Shelter and Savills that output of new homes would fall by 85,000 during the year because of the pandemic, with just 4,300 for social rent.

At present, the country is facing a housing affordability crisis with more and more people living in private rented properties, alongside a rise in homelessness, use of temporary accommodation, overcrowded families, and falling rates of homeownership.

According to the National Housing Federation, England needs 340,000 new homes – including 145,000 affordable homes – until 2031, to meet current demand. This includes 90,000 for social rent and 25,000 for shared ownership.

A large social housebuilding programme will provide jobs, boost the economy, and help the Government meet its 300,000 homes a year target. It would also help to significantly reduce the number of people suffering from homelessness, reduce the number of families in overcrowded homes, help families reduce their housing costs, as well as reduce pressures elsewhere in the housing system.

Third on the respondents budget wish list with 16.7% of the vote was a financial support package for the PRS.

Against the backdrop of a seemingly never-ending wave of punitive tax measures, supposedly to scare people off from investing in residential property which would then reduce pressure on house prices and free up homes for owner-occupiers, the pandemic has only made things worse for the PRS.

Recent figures have shown that over half of landlords have experienced some form of income loss as a direct result of the pandemic and are not well supported.

The National residential landlords Association has made a joint statement with 10 other organisations urging the Chancellor to provide direct funding to support landlords and tenants during the crisis.

According to the NRLA, support for the PRS could be achieved through interest-free, government-guaranteed hardship loans for tenants; tenant hardship grants through local authorities; keeping LHA at 30th percentile at the minimum, and suspending the Shared Accommodation Rate for under 35s for 12 months.


What would you most like to see announced in the budget?

SDLT holiday extension 40%
Build more social housing 36.7%
Financial support for the PRS 16.7%
Other 6.7%

Warren Lewis, Property Reporter editor, said: "As you can see from our latest survey, an extension to the scheme is still in high demand, particularly for those who have already begun the process.

"If the rumoured six-week extension goes ahead, it would give buyers and sellers until mid-May to complete which seems fair, but it may also result in a rush of new buyers who think they can beat the new deadline - piling further pressure on already struggling conveyancers.

"I'm with some of the 6.7% who voted 'other' in the survey. After the twelve months we've all had, scrapping any planned increase in duty on beer and spirits is the least Rishi can do."

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