Support for stamp duty holiday extension at gathering pace ahead of MP petition debate

Calls from the property industry for an extension to the emergency stamp duty holiday enacted in July are bringing pressure on government, as Parliament prepares to debate the petition later today trying to fight off a tax cliff-edge.

The government has already issued a statement saying it does not plan to extend this temporary relief when the petition, started by an anxious homebuyer hit 10,000 signatures which eventually rose to almost 140,000.

However, the pressure to U-turn is increasing on chancellor Rishi Sunak after property firms and trade bodies sent a joint letter calling for a six-month extension to the holiday. The letter called on the extension, if not for all movers then at least for older people moving to housing more suited to their needs.

Signatories included trade bodies the Association of Retirement Housing Managers, the Retirement Housing Group UK, the Chartered Institute of Housing, the Civil Servants Pensioners’ Alliance campaign group and the International Longevity Centre, a charity.

In July, Mr Sunak temporarily raised the nil-rate stamp duty band from £125,000 to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland, meaning buyers can save up to £15,000 if they can complete sales by March 31.

Industry voices continue to call for a u-turn as pressure on a homebuyers to complete before the deadline will see thousands miss out to be hit with up to £15,000 in tax they may not have budgeted for.

Nitesh Patel, strategic economist at Yorkshire Building Society, said: “We would ask the chancellor to re-consider the deadline and a introduce a three-month tapering off period, which would give purchasers with agreed sales and mortgages approvals, extra time to complete their sale and still benefit from the tax relief. An active housing market is vital for the economy and it also boosts consumer spending which the economy will need as restrictions are lifted.”

From solicitors, surveyors and local authorities, to estate agents and mortgage brokers, all parts of the property chain are creaking under the pressure.

The virtual debate will be held live on Parliament TV at 4.30pm and will be led by Elliot Colburn, member of the Petitions Committee. Rt Hon Jesse Norman MP, financial secretary to the Treasury, will respond for the government.