September 22, 2021

UK: Delays and higher house prices see homebuyers fall out of love with the stamp duty holiday

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By James Lockett

Research by estate and lettings agent, Barrows and Forrester, has revealed that the shine is starting to come off the stamp duty holiday for disgruntled homebuyers who are experiencing long delays and higher house prices as a result of the initiative. 

85% of those asked said that the current market bottleneck caused by stamp duty holiday demand has caused their purchase to be delayed.

A further 81% believe that their current sale is likely to miss both the initial extended deadline at the end of this month, as well as the secondary deadline due to expire at the end of September.  

In addition to lengthy delays, current homebuyers are also facing a far higher cost as a result of the stamp duty holiday. Since the introduction of the stamp duty holiday, house prices across England alone have climbed by 10.2% meaning the average homebuyer is now paying over £25,000 as a result. 

Previous research by Barrows and Forrester found that based on the current average monthly rate of growth, this could climb further still, hitting £291,667 in England by the end of the year. 

With many now facing this higher cost of homeownership without the benefit of a stamp duty saving, it’s no surprise that 54% of homebuyers stated that they didn’t think this stamp duty holiday price surge had been positive for the market. 

23% were on the fence, while just 24% thought it had been a good thing.

Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester, commented:

“It looks as though homebuyers have now fallen out of love with Rishi Sunak and his promise of a stamp duty saving, as many now face lengthy market delays, higher house prices and the salt in the wound of having to pay stamp duty on their purchase.

As with most government housing initiatives, the focus was never really on bringing genuine benefit to homebuyers. The aim has always been to stimulate the housing market in order to claim it as an indicator of economic success against the pandemic backdrop. 

Of course many will have enjoyed a saving, but for many more, an already lethargic and stressful process has been made even worse and these homebuyer woes look set to continue for some time.”

Survey of 1,191 UK homebuyers carried out by Barrows and Forrester (28th May 2021).

Has your purchase been delayed due to the SDLT Holiday market bottleneck?
Based on when your transaction should complete, will you miss the extended September deadline?
Do you agree that higher house prices due to the SDLT holiday have been good for the market?
Strongly disagree30%
Somewhat disagree24%
Neither agree nor disagree23%
Somewhat agree14%
Strongly agree9%



–          Survey conducted via consumer research platform Find Out Now.

–          Barrows and Forrester is a multi-award winning, independent lettings and estate agent located in Birmingham.

–          James Forrester has worked within the property industry for 20 years, 10 of which have seen him apply his expertise within the Birmingham property market in particular. 

–          James is also a director of StripeHomes, a company specialising in top-quality new build developments in the North East and Midlands. 

–          As a result, James has an unrivalled knowledge of the sales, lettings and new build sectors, making him an accomplished, all-round property market commentator. 

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