When Chancellor Rishi Sunak raised the threshold on stamp duty for buying a house to £500,000, he could never have imagined rolling this over to the end of June, but that’s exactly what he’s going to do, according to reports.
In next week’s budget, it is expected that Mr. Sunak will announce a three-month extension to the scheme, which has seen a surge in house buying, as ‘would be’ homeowners and home movers look to capitalise on a bit of a break from at least one form of tax.
There are, of course, critics of the plan, who say that it is just the ‘already wealthy’ who benefit from this.
Who say that landlords are able to buy second (and third) homes much more easily with this relaxation of stamp duty, but they haven’t seen the data.
Labour called it “another tax giveaway to second home owners”, but in quarter four of last year, transactions rose to well over 300,000, and so it can’t just be second home owners who are benefitting from the temporary ‘let off’.
As far as landlords and ‘second home owners’ are concerned though, they wouldn’t have been rubbing their hands together anyway.
They’ve had bigger fish to fry with a whole other kind of extensions, such as the extension of the evictions ban.
Their hands have been tied for so long that they’ll much keener to retrieve any unpaid rent arrears, than they will be to take on other properties and risk more of the same headaches.
You’d imagine so, anyway.
The way we see it, the extension is a good thing for everyone, as it allows more people to get onto the housing market for the first time, and it helps keep the property industry moving, which is something that our society depends on, from those who are able to afford more than one home, right through to those who need to be able to access affordable tenancies.
There are other priorities for the Chancellor, there always will be, but this is an easy win right now for all of us.
The plug is not about to be pulled from the property market, just yet.