Paul Stockwell, Chief Commercial Officer at Gatehouse Bank, comments on November’s ONS UK House Price Index data
“House prices defied expectations by increasing throughout 2020 and leading to a record high in November, with the stamp duty discount driving strong demand from buyers — but there are signs from other indices that price growth has now begun to slow.
“The UK housing market is still open for business during this lockdown, but demand is likely to have started to taper off as buyers begin to concede they will not be able to complete a transaction in time to make the stamp duty deadline.
“The March 31 cut-off is looming, and although professionals across the industry are working in earnest to get applications over the line in time, fears are mounting about how many agreements could fall through.
“With property portal Rightmove predicting as many as 100,000 buyers could face an unwelcome tax bill when their sale fails to complete on time, all eyes are turning to Chancellor Rishi Sunak and whether he may extend or add a taper mechanism to the scheme or risk deals falling apart.”