Stamp duty UK: Buyers given hope as stamp duty holiday deadline looms

Stamp Duty: Phil Spencer raises concerns over scheme

In the debate, it was not confirmed whether the stamp duty holiday deadline will be extended. However, Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman shared a hopeful reminder to those who have already started the buying process.

During the debate, MPs shared their opinions on the current stamp duty holiday.

What is the stamp duty holiday?

The holiday was introduced by UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak during the first UK coronavirus lockdown.

Those buying properties in England do not have to pay stamp duty land tax (SDLT) on homes which cost less than £500,000.

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This was a vast increase on the previous threshold, which required SDLT to be paid on properties costing more than £125,000.

The stamp duty holiday could help some owners save as much as £15,000 when making a purchase.

The Chancellor explained the changes would be in place from July 2020 until March 31, 2021.

With the deadline fast approaching, many MPs have called for the dates to be extended.

This is to help Britons save during the continuing coronavirus crisis and also to help those who have already started the moving process.

Data gathered by Movewise found a backlog of sale means homes are taking 29 percent longer to sell while under offer.

This is due to delays in conveyancing and could affect those hoping to benefit from stamp duty reductions.

Those who have already started the buying process could have the sale delayed, meaning they face the risk of missing the upcoming deadline.

During the debate today, Jesse Norman acknowledged concerns from those in the UK.

He shared the official response from the Government and explained the decision could not yet be shared.

Whether or not there will be an extension is not known, but it could be good news for those who have already started the buying process.

He reminded viewers of conditions that the buying process needed to be completed by March 31, or have made “substantial progress”.

“Buying a house is one of the most stressful things that any of us can do in our lifetimes, it has uncertainties of it’s own at the best of times,” Jesse said.

“I fully understand the frustrations of those who are, as we speak, in the process of purchasing a property. Perhaps as part of a chain and who may be concerned of the delays they face.”

The financial secretary went on to respond to a query of completing ongoing transactions before the deadline.

He explained buyers who were close to completing their transaction by the deadline may still be able to take advantage of the discounts.

The secretary added: “I would remind [you], that the legislation includes, not merely completion but the idea of ‘substantial performance’. That in itself is a legally recognised term.”

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