Stamp Duty holiday

Lots of people calling for the Stamp Duty holiday to be extended despite the Government stating that they won’t indeed the Telegraph have started a campaign. When ig was originally announced in July last year it was clearly signed that it would end in March 2021. Estate agents, conveyancers, mortgage brokers have all called for an extension and there have even been petitions to Parliament.

I have argued before that it wasn’t needed, sales in July 2020 were already up to 80% of their usual monthly total despite the Lockdown in March and prices ended the year ironically up 7% according to Halifax which on an average priced house is about £15k.

The Budget in early March will probably prove more contentious with some people expecting some major tax raising announcements to try to plug the hole in the finances. Raising CGT in line with income tax is being floated cutting higher-rate pensions tax relief have both been mooted — or the introduction of a one-off wealth tax. Either way the two main sources of household wealth in the UK — pensions and property — are the Treasury’s prime targets for future tax rises. Some go further suggesting the principal private residence relief could be looked at with consideration given to a tax on “windfall gains”.

For now whilst the housing market remains open I can’t see any likelyhood of the Government extending the Stamp Duty holiday into April but anything is possible in a pandemic. For now, we must assume that the Government will stick with what they have said and it will end on 31st March.