Estate agents hail idea of extension to stamp duty cut as 'shot in the arm'
- Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN
Suffolk estate agents have hailed the reported extension of the stamp duty holiday as "a shot in the arm" - but warned against "kicking the can down the road".
The stamp duty holiday — a tax cut which could save homebuyers up to £15,000 — is currently due to end on March 31.
But The Times said it has been told chancellor Rishi Sunak will extend the tax cut until the end of June in his March 3 budget.
Rightmove estimates that the current deadline remaining in place would mean 100,000 buyers who agreed a purchase last year losing out.
Tim Dansie, director of Jackson-Stops in Ipswich, said one of his current clients was among those whose deal could fall through if the deadline was not extended.
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"One of my deals will either pull out or seek a reduction — equivalent to £15,000 — if hasn't happened by March 31.
"The one great thing about helping the housing market is it does definitely move the economy along, because as soon as the house gets sold, lots of people benefit from that — whether it's builders or decorators or anyone else."
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Oliver Johnson, a partner at Clarke & Simpson, said: "It undoubtedly helped the property market during the second half of last year.
"But it has created a cliff edge, with all transactions having to have completed and people have moved by March 31
"If it was extended, that would be very welcome news — it'd be a shot in the arm.
"My hope is that they rejig it so that we don't have another cliff edge on June 30 and the can isn't just kicked down the road.
"Perhaps there could be some sort of tapering system."
Tom Orford, who leads the residential team at Savills in Ipswich, said: “Coming at a time when demand is outstripping supply, extending the holiday until the mid-year point may also bring more stock to the market and allow the spring sales market to function more normally.
“It also reduces the risk of a sharp lull in activity at a time when the furlough scheme is currently due to end and could help carry the market through the period of peak economic uncertainty.
"By the end of June, the economy will be beginning to reopen and those active in the market will have greater confidence in their future finances."