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Stamp Duty holiday extension arguments outlined to MPs ahead of debate

Friday 29 January 2021

Propertymark continues to engage with MPs ahead of the virtual debate on extending the relief to Stamp Duty Land Tax. Following the announcement of the session, politicians have been sent a briefing outlining reasons for extending the relief for home buyers.

The briefing contains Propertymark’s core arguments for extending the Stamp Duty holiday to avoid thousands of sales falling through. The current deadline of 31 March 2021 could also see price drops and a sudden loss of momentum in the market.

A barrier to housing transactions

MPs were informed that Stamp Duty can be a significant obstacle to the buying and selling of houses. Furthermore, the average cost of moving in the UK is estimated to be around £8,885.

A booming housing market

Since the Government announced the temporary cut to Stamp Duty, the property market has boomed. The average number of sales agreed per estate agent branch has increased 86 per cent year-on-year. The last few months have seen record-breaking figures in prospective buyers and sales as people took advantage of the tax relief.

Keeping the market moving

Propertymark warned MPs that we are already seeing the negative effects of the 31 March deadline. Research by property website Rightmove showed that the share of agreed sales falling through went up by 28 per cent in December 2020. Furthermore, according to Zoopla, less than 20 per cent of those who agree a sale in February 2021 will typically complete the purchase by the end of March.

There is the real risk of chains collapsing as buyers who haven’t completed their sales fail to make the deadline.

MPs will debate the issue online on 1 Feb after an e-petition calling for an extension to the Stamp Duty Holiday for 6 months reached 124,000 signatures. The threshold for triggering a debate is 100,000.

The session comes as sittings in Westminster Hall, the usual debating chamber for e-petitions, are suspended as part of Parliament’s arrangements for adapting to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Elliot Colburn, member of the Petitions Committee, will lead the debate. Rt Hon Jesse Norman MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, will respond for the Government.

You can watch the debate live from 4.30pm on Monday 1 February

Propertymark advocacy

As well as briefing MPs, Propertymark has been encouraging members to write to their local representatives in order to keep the pressure on politicians.

Key statistics, as well as tips and guidance for writing a letter, are available on the Propertymark website.