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Coronavirus: Housing market needs a stamp duty holiday but swift action is needed

Today (23/4/20) we echo the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) call for a stamp duty holiday to kick-start a stalled housing market, but warn that swift action is needed to prevent further inaction.

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Today (24/4/20) we echo the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) call for a stamp duty holiday to kick-start a stalled housing market, but warn that swift action is needed to prevent further inaction.

Janet Armstrong-Fox, Partner and Head of Private Client Property at Collyer Bristow comments:

“The residential market is all but at a standstill and will remain so until the current restrictions are lifted. Even then, a slow return to a buoyant is predicted. Clearly something is needed to kick-start the housing market. We echo RICS call for a stamp duty relaxation, not just for first time buyers but for those moving up the housing ladder.

We recognise that this will be a sizeable challenge for Government: stamp duty has been a cash cow for HMRC coffers and will come at a time when it will be looking to increase tax revenues following the extensive support offered throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

Whilst a stamp duty holiday is unlikely, a reduced rate for a set period of time for homes under a £500,000 threshold, and perhaps even higher in London, would provide the stimulus needed to reignite the market.”

But Janet adds a note of caution:

“We would urge the Government to act swiftly in introducing a relaxed stamp duty regime as the rumours of such a move may further dampen the housing market with buyers and sellers waiting for fear of missing out on some impending relaxation.”

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