Extension of Stamp Duty Holiday Vital to Housing Market, says JLPM

James Leigh Property Management has called on the Government to commit to keeping the property market open during the latest lockdown, or the consequences not only for homeowners caught in a chain, but the whole supply chain including construction could be dire. Central to keeping house sales moving is the extension of the Stamp Duty holiday, due to end in March 2021.

Robert Burdett, MD at James Leigh Property Management, based in Colchester, Essex, said, “as an industry, the housing market has bounced back well from the first lockdown with a surge in sales, but it is still fragile and businesses in the supply chain could disappear if the industry isn’t kept open during the latest lockdown.” Continuing, Mr Burdett said, “If businesses are lost during this lockdown, and the Government isn’t 100% clear on what the plan is, the whole housing market could be impacted, and that knock on could affect construction, and all of the ancillary sectors that support the housing market.”

Mr Burdett has written to local MPs Bernard Jenkin MP and Will Quince MP outlining his concerns for the housing market during this latest lockdown, including:

– commitment to continue on-site valuations and surveys that are currently being carried out according to Covid-secure rules

– supporting the mortgage industry where needed so that mortgage finance continues to flow

– extension of the Stamp Duty holiday beyond March 2021 to reduce a bottleneck in mortgage applications, valuations, and surveys in January

– allowing Covid-secure viewings to continue so that house buyers can continue to search for suitable properties

Key among the requests is the Stamp Duty holiday extension. Mr Burdett said, “whilst the end of the Stamp Duty holiday may seem a long way off, practically speaking this will impact the housing market from January. And if viewings are stalled in November the time that people have to find their next home and go through all of the necessary stages will be shortened. It’s critical that the Government looks at these measures now and is proactive in supporting the housing market, rather than reacting to problems as they arise.