Property developers and builders hoping for extended stamp duty holiday

Property developers and house builders across the UK are hoping for an extended stamp duty holiday which has seen house prices and construction growth since its announced in June last year.

The stamp duty holiday, which includes 0% on properties under £500,000, was launched last summer by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to breathe new energy into the construction and property market which had seen very limited trade during the first covid-19 lockdown between March to May.

However, fast-forward one year and we are seeing significant growth in mortgage applications, approvals, construction and development – and indeed house prices. Ultimately, with first time buyers, investors and downsizers looking to capitalise on the £15,000 saving on properties all the way up to £1 million.

Property developers such as Regal, Griggs Homes, Crest Nicholson and more, will welcome the extension of a stamp duty holiday, something that was due to end on 31st March 2021, but something that Chancellor Sunak will be re-considering and potential extending beyond this, with a decision to be made early March.

The complimentary industries that help property development and construction will also favour a further holiday and this includes surveyors, solicitors, estate agents, architects, plumbers, electricians and more.

Particularly when it comes to mortgage completions since there are around 120,000 applications that may miss the stamp duty holiday if they do not complete in time. A recent survey showed around 39% of exchanges will not complete if they miss the deadline, since buyers want to take advantage of the savings on offer.

Whilst there may have been very little business for these professions during the first lockdown, this has very much changed shape given the surge of business coming from the stamp duty holiday – and also changes in lifestyle from UK households who are looking for bigger properties or more lifestyle homes to live in the countryside or include things like home offices, larger gardens and gyms. In fact, many companies working in property or construction may have seen higher revenues than previous years, despite the loss of trade for a few months.

One area that has suffered is of course, offices and commercial spaces such as high street stores, shopping centres and restaurant chains. However, the slow transition back to normality is underway, with outdoor venues expected to reopen in May 2021 and then restaurants and offices to more or less be in full swing by June 2021.

In terms of offices, many businesses have exited or completed their leases and this has left thousands of landlords on the back foot. However, a recent poll by the Berkeley Group showed that the average London worker would like to still go into an office around 3 days per week, highlighting the need for offices still exists and will no doubt make a comeback sometime this year.