The government has been called upon by one of the industry’s most respected bodies to announce a stamp duty holiday to help the market get back on its feet.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - normally one of the more conservative trade organisations - makes the call today as a result of the massive effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on the market revealed by its latest snapshot.
“RICS is not an organisation that would call for a stamp duty holiday on a whim, and indeed our view prior to Covid 19 was that it required a full-scale review. As we start to emerge from this crisis, however, it is likely that the finances of potential homebuyers will be under strain, and the burden of stamp duty could put buyers off” says Hew Edgar, RICS head of government relations.
“For those who can afford to move they may lack confidence in the market, adding to the slow down. A stamp duty holiday could be one of the ways to reactivate the housing market quickly as a short term measure” he continues.
“While the UK’s health is the priority, our survey feedback suggests that the government will need to start considering medium and long-term measures that could assist a post-pandemic housing market. These are exceptional circumstances and the Government will need to consider all avenues that could feasibly rebuild confidence, bridging the gap between uncertainty and recovery.”
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “Of course, the primary focus of government is at this stage the health of the nation and defeating Coronavirus and it may be a little premature to be planning for the economic recovery. However, the feedback from the survey does imply that further government interventions both in the wider economy and more specifically in the housing market may be necessary to aid this process supporting businesses and people back into work.”
Article extract taken from Estate Agent Today 9/4/2020 - https://www.estateagenttoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2020/4/stamp-duty-holiday-now-industrys-most-senior-body-in-dramatic-call