During the coronavirus pandemic the government introduced the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday in England and Northern Ireland for residential properties purchased from 8th July 2020 to 31st March 2021. The reduced rates allow for people to purchase property under the value of £500,000 and pay no SDLT. With SDLT reduced rates set to end in March next year some are calling for this holiday to be extended.
The Law Society have expressed their concerns to the government surrounding the growing pressure on the residential property market. Since the announcement of reduced rates there has been a surge in demand despite a period of national lockdown in the spring. With this demand it is expected that 2020 volumes will be higher than 2019, which is a positive outcome for the economy during these hard times.
However, the increase in demand has been a challenge for those businesses in the property sector as average transaction times are lengthening, along with other factors such as delays in mortgage offers. These factors pose a potential risk for consumers as the holiday is not long enough based on completion dates, this then impacts businesses who are trying to facilitate moves before the March deadline.
The Law Society are asking the government to extend this holiday or introduce transitional arrangements to allow them to cope with demand and ensure completion of transactions before the holiday ends.
For further information on Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday visit the government website.