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Written by Aidan Dike-Lawlor
On 8th July 2020, when the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the implementation of the Stamp Duty Holiday with immediate effect, estate agents, lenders, buyers, and sellers could exhale with a large sigh of relief.
The early stages of 2020 saw a steady property market with growth but in March, with the emergence of a viral surprise – COVID-19 and its ensuing lockdown the property market came to a halt overnight. In addition to the many worries COVID as a global pandemic brings, to all the many stakeholders in the property market, to the buyers, to the sellers it felt as if livelihoods and life plans of everyone’s most secure asset had been thrown off the cliff overnight.
As the lockdown continued through spring into summer, and the dystopian state of the property market grew more Orwellian, even the most optimistic speculators were predicting the struggles continuing for the rest year and beyond. However, on 8th July the property markets emancipator, Head of the Treasury Rishi Sunak unveiled the scal stimulus, the Stamp Duty Holiday which released the market from the grasp of COVID. The impact of this holiday has been sustained, with £3.8billion saved in tax, 130,000 sales agreed in December 2020 alone and the market has grown 6.6%, the Stamp Duty Holiday has not just saved the market but provided a much-needed boost!
Emon Ahmed CEO of Ackroyd Legal Group, a nationwide law firm with 11 offices comments:
There have been many calls for the Stamp Duty Holiday to be extended to protect up to 100,000 transactions which will miss the holiday deadline. The impacts of which may be greater than the added financial cost. Transactions may fall through, as buyers were only able to stretch to a certain price due to the holiday relief or even whole chains be broken and potentially lost as buyers have to look for alternative and properties at a different price point. Therefore, whenever the Stamp Duty Holiday comes to an end, there will be a logistical nightmare and as in every temporary scheme, some will ultimately lose out. However, the benefits of the Stamp Duty Holiday have re-ignited the fiery debate around property taxation, with land value taxes, the permanent scrapping of Stamp Duty and it seems inevitable that the property process will have no option but to change.
Group Head of Conveyancing Peter Benjamin adds:
As the Stamp Duty Holiday comes to close, many cynics would surmise that the property market would collapse back to its previous state. However, this measure has led to much more confidence in the market, with property website Rightmove, predicting a 4% rise in property prices in 2021, indicating a strong market. It is without a doubt the market will slow down aer the holiday, but with low interest rates increasing the affordability and terms of mortgages and the fact that people had the confidence to buy during a pandemic, whatever may ensue, the strong market will persist for buyers and sellers alike.
As one of the UK’s fastest growing Law Firms, Ackroyd Legal’s specialist practice areas include a plethora of both business and personal advisory services such as: commercial and residential property, litigation and dispute resolution, family, wills and probate, and a strong corporate team. With offices all over the UK and over 150 employees Ackroyd Legal are setup with efficient working methods derived from using the latest technology intertwined with their Lawyers’ expert legal knowledge and the installation of a client services team which allow us to provide incredible service to all their clients.