The housing market slumped last year when the UK went into its first lockdown, as a result of the coronavirus. When the market reopened, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday, which saw the threshold for paying stamp duty raised from £125,000 to £500,000 until 31st March 2021.
According to Rightmove, house prices were down by 0.9% between 6th December 2020 and 9th January 2021, compared to the previous month.
The housing market remains busy, with a 12% increase in buyers contacting agents and sales agreed in January up by 9% compared to the previous year.
The stamp duty holiday is said to be tempting buyers to sell their property before the holiday ends. However, many people may miss out as the average time for completion is now just over four months. Rightmove has stated that over 600,000 properties have been sold subject to contacts however, it is estimated that around 100,000 people will miss the deadline and could be faced with an unexpected tax bill.
The Law Society expressed their concerns to the government and called for the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday to be extended however, there has been no official announcement.
Our article ‘Maintaining the current Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday threshold could provide millions for the Treasury’ has further information on the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday.