The Guild of Property Professionals, along with other industry bodies, has been lobbying the Government to extend the holidays on Stamp Duty in England and the Land Transaction Tax in Wales on behalf of both consumers and the property sector. A letter was sent to the Government with the backing of several industry bodies and major players, citing the reasons why the extension would benefit the industry, the economy and most importantly people in the process of purchasing a property.
“In a bid to up the ante, The Guild has provided its Members with another letter that they can address to their local MPs in a bid to drum up further support for the initiative of extending the tax break,” says Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals. “We are hoping to use our influence as a large network to help persuade the Government to push back the deadline date because of the high number of transactions currently in the pipeline that won’t make the cut off due to delays. Consumers should not be penalised for the delays currently experienced in the property buying process that they have no control over.”
He continues that while the letter has been sent to Guild Member agents, it is also available to all agents if they wish. “We are encouraging all agents to either use the letter we have drafted or to draft their own letter to their local MP in support of the extension of the holiday. If the sector works together in this common goal, there is far more chance that the Government will act, and act quickly, which is what is needed,” says McKenzie.
He adds that the property sector and related services are not equipped to be able to process the vast volumes of transactions before the cut-off, and many consumers run the risk of missing out on the tax break. “If the deadline remains as it is, only a quarter of the sales agreed in January will complete in time. According to Zoopla there are approximately 140,000 more people waiting to complete sales than this time last year, so there will be a significant number of buyers who will have to find additional money for Stamp Duty or Land Transaction Tax if they have not budgeted for it,” says McKenzie. “If buyers are unable to complete as a result of not having the tax money in place, we will see a large number of transactions fall through.”
We hope that the Government extends the Stamp Duty and Land Transaction holiday for another six months, or at the very least introduces a phasing-out period that will ease the pressure on all parties involved, and will prevent a cliff edge. “If the sector is successful in lobbying the Government, the result would have a positive impact for the industry and consumers, as well as the greater economy,” McKenzie concludes.
The letter to local MPs is available here, and you can find your local MP here.