Stamp duty holiday extension is on Fylde coast businesses' Budget wish list

All eyes will be on Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Wednesday to see what help he will offer to businesses and workers as lockdown continues for at least another month.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 3:30 pm

Businesses are unanimous in hoping the furlough scheme will continue until summer and the various support packages brought in last year will be repeated.

Hospitality and retail businesses across the Fylde coast have asked for the VAT rate reduction to five per cent to continue and are hoping for the business rates relief to carry on too.

But many people working in the property sector want the stamp duty holiday to also continue to allow the housing market to keep going and provide a knock-on boost to the economy.

Ben Braithwaite of Braithwaites Removals in Kirkham and Steve Owen of Owen's Removals in Blackpool are hoping for a stamp duty holiday extension in Wednesday's Budget

Ben Braithwaite of Braithwaites Removals in Kirkham said the relaxation of stamp duty had been a lifeline for the property market in 2020 and hoped it would continue, despite it meaning a frantic rush of people trying to move house before the March deadline for the ending of the scheme hits.

He said: “There hasn’t been such a time as of late that we have had so many enquiries for house relocations. I have had to work with another local company, Owens Removals, to be able to accommodate the influx of quotes and moves.

“We have seen an increase of customers up-sizing or moving to new build properties due to the stamp duty holiday. This is also seen by the number of people wishing to complete their house purchase and move before the imminent deadline.

“We have all had a difficult time over the last year and feel the Government has done the correct thing by offering this. Hopefully this may continue as a definite boost for the economy.”

Luke Robinson, conveyancing solicitor for law firm Vincents’ Fylde Coast team based at Jubilee House in Lytham, said: “If, as has been reported, the Chancellor announces an extension in his budget on March 3, that is really great news.

“Any extension of the stamp duty holiday will be most welcomed by purchasers already in the process of buying who are at risk of a massive tax bill if their transaction doesn’t complete by March 31.

“My concern is that if the extension doesn’t incorporate a run-off period and retains the ‘hard deadline’ scenario, we’ll just be in the same position again in a few months’ time, where buyers who have been motivated to move by the holiday miss the cut off and then have to find thousands of pounds which they hadn’t factored into their purchase.

“The scheme needs to be refined with some trigger points built in. So if a sale has reached a certain point by a certain date, it will be guaranteed to benefit from the holiday.”

Ben Moore from Ben Moore Bespoke Estate Agent in Cleveleys added: “An extension to the stamp duty relief would alleviate a lot of stress for homemovers and conveyancers across the Fylde coast. I’m confident it would maintain real fluidity in the market, particularly with mid to upper-range homes.

"Of course, we anticipate the return of stamp duty in the near future, but in my opinion a ‘phase out’ approach would be more appropriate than a cliff-drop conclusion.

“Perhaps if those who have a legally-proceeding offer before the end of June were to still benefit from stamp duty savings beyond the deadline it would instil some faith into what is currently an uncertain situation.”

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