Drastic consequences if stamp duty holiday ends in March - agents’ chief

The housing market’s recovery will be threatened with drastic consequences for buyers and sellers if the stamp duty holiday isn’t extended beyond March 31 next year.

That’s the warning from Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark.

“This boom has been hugely beneficial for the housing market; however, with a stamp duty cliff edge on March 31 we are calling on government to rethink these timings due to the increased pressure on service providers within the industry which is causing delays for buyers and sellers” he says.

“Failure to find a solution to the cliff edge, whether that be a taper or extension, could cause thousands of sales to fall at the final hurdle and have a knock on and drastic effect on the housing market which has recovered well from the Covid slump” Hayward adds.

The NAEA chief executive’s remarks come in the latest market snapshot from the association – relating back to September. It reveals that the number of prospective buyers registered per estate agent branch rose a third from 396 in August, to 525 in September.  This is the highest number of house hunters recorded since June 2004.

The average number of sales agreed per estate agent branch stood at 14 in September, the highest since August 2006. This is an increase from 12 sales agreed per branch in August.

Year-on-year, the number of sales per branch has increased 75 per cent.

Meanwhile the number of sales made to FTBs stood at 19 per cent in September – the lowest amount recorded since March 2013, when the figure also stood at 19 per cent. This is a fall from 23 per cent in August this year and 30 per cent in September 2019.

And the number of properties available per member branch stood at 41 in September, rising marginally from 40 in August.

Finally in terms of prices, in September just eight per cent of properties sold above the original asking price; this is a fall from August’s high when 13 per cent of properties sold for more.

The majority (53 per cent) of properties sold for less than the original asking price in September.

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