Rishi Sunak has stated that a stamp duty cut will not be delayed, following warnings that this would cause considerable damage to the housing market. Talk of delaying the stamp duty cuts have raised fears that property purchases would grind to a halt, as many would simply wait until these cuts were implemented to save themselves thousands of pounds.

Economists and property experts have voiced their concerns over implementation of the cut, originally suggested to be put in place Autumn this year. Such experts have claimed that waiting until this long to put the cut in place could cause a deep freeze to the housing market.

Institute for Fiscal Studies’ Paul Johnson has commented that Sunak must choose to launch the stamp duty cut tomorrow or rule it out entirely, and furthermore that “To do otherwise could ruin the housing market for months to come”

Economist Julian Jessop commented the following on the matter: “the announcement of a stamp duty holiday, but not until the autumn, could kill the housing market in the meantime.” 

“There has been similar speculation of an across-the-board VAT cut, which could delay spending on other big ticket items too.”

Others have claimed that this cut to stamp duty could help to drive the demand for housing throughout the U.K., former Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond commenting on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that:

‘Cutting stamp duty, reducing VAT in particular sectors, are certainly ways to bring forward or manage demand. 

‘But I think the Treasury officials who will have been working up all sorts of proposals for him during the lockdown will be telling him that the history tells us that cutting VAT or cutting stamp duty can bring forward demand but it doesn’t overall increase the level of demand, it simply shifts the pattern of it.’ 

This cut is expected to be part of Sunak’s coronavirus recovery package, including ‘holiday’ from the charge of six months. Sunak is under increasing pressure to set out future plans for financial support for businesses, as many sectors continue to struggle from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stamp duty cut is said to be the focus for the Chancellor’s financial address tomorrow, which is also expected to discuss the £2 billion to be used for homeowners to better insulate their properties, and the £1 billion that will attempt to make hospitals and schools greener.