Pressure grows on UK chancellor for stamp duty holiday extension in budget

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·2-min read
Britain's chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak giving a speech in the House of Commons in London. Photo: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via Reuters
Britain's chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak giving a speech in the House of Commons in London. Photo: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via Reuters

Pressure is ramping up on UK chancellor Rishi Sunak ahead of the budget, as research filters through about housing market sentiment.

Knight Frank's latest sentiment survey showed that an overwhelming majority (87%) of respondents believe the stamp duty holiday should be extended in the March budget.

Alongside this, a quarter of respondents who believe the holiday should be extended suggested it should be tapered to afford extra time for buyers to complete.

Among the 500 of Knight Frank's clients surveyed, 35% said they would not pull out of a deal if it wasn’t going to complete before the stamp duty holiday ends.

More than half (52%) said they would attempt to renegotiate the purchase price if the deal wasn’t going to complete before the stamp duty holiday ends.

The survey also found that the latest lockdown appears to have reinforced trends that emerged after the market reopened last May, with the search for space, more greenery and the ability to work from home remaining at the forefront of people’s minds.

READ MORE: Businesses await UK prime minister Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown

Last May, 53% of people said they planned to work from home more often than they did before the pandemic once restrictions ended. However, as of the start of this year this has increased to 65%.

WATCH: How stamp duty holiday benefits buyers?

The most important attributes people are looking for now in a home are: A home office/study, which was more important for two-thirds (67%); a garden, outdoor space or access to land, which was more important for 72%; access to high-speed broadband, which was more important for 72%. 53% said they would like more space generally.

The escape to the country trend doesn’t appear to have run its course either, with 38% of respondents stating that the latest lockdown had made them more likely to move to a rural location, compared with 8% that said they were less likely to do so.

The results suggest that, even when the vaccination programme is complete and restrictions are eased, demand in regional markets is likely to remain strong, something which is reflected in the latest house price forecasts.

Watch: How much money do I need to buy a house?