The Stamp Duty holiday has been extended to the end of June and will not return to its pre-pandemic level until October.

Simon Havens, Partner and Head of Residential Sales at GTH, notes: “This is good news for the property market in the West Country.

“For those considering a move time is of the essence and I would urge would-be buyers and sellers to get in touch.”

Today (March 3) Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed a three-month extension of the Stamp Duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland to the end of June.

The scheme had been due to finish on March 31 and commentators had been concerned about a “cliff edge” as purchasers scrambled to complete sales before the deadline.

The pressure has been taken off with the scheme being continued until June. Chancellor Rishi Sunak  also announced an effort to then smooth the transition back to normal with the nil rate threshold on properties up to £250,000 extended until the end of September.

This means there will be a Stamp Duty holiday on properties up to £500,000 until the end of June, and then a holiday on properties up to £250,000 until the end of September.

So far no details have been released on whether these dates will be the dreaded 'cliff edge' or a tapered end to each.

However this extension will give time for people who have already agreed sales to complete their purchase and benefit from the Stamp Duty holiday.

It should also increase confidence for potential sellers in the crucial Spring season, which is generally seen as a key time for new instructions. This along with the vaccination roll-out should give sellers more confidence of a safe move.

The Stamp Duty holiday has undoubtedly been a huge success at keeping the property market fluid and the property industry fully employed.

It will not be until October 1 that the pre-Covid Stamp Duty thresholds and levels will resume.

Chancellor Sunak has also confirmed help for “Generation Rent” with Government-guaranteed 95 per cent loans available from next month, on the purchase of properties up to the value of £600,000.

“Anything that helps the market is to be welcomed. Ensuring young people can get on the housing ladder with smaller deposits is a great move,” said Simon Havens.

Figures from HMRC show the high levels of activity in the housing sector in recent months. Around 98,830 housing transactions completed in January – 21% higher than the average for the same month over the last five years.

The initial Stamp Duty holiday gave a sense of urgency to purchasers and sellers alike. Its extension can only bode well for home moves over the next few months.

To see how Greenslade Taylor Hunt, which has a network of offices across the West Country, can help with your property search visit www.gth.net/contact