Campaigner calls for Sheffield home buyers to back stamp duty petition

The stamp duty holiday for property buyers should be triggered when contracts are exchanged, says a campaigner.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 12:16 pm

Star reader Chris Holland wants chancellor Rishi Sunak to make the switch because the property market is booming and prices keep rising, which can hit the benefits of the stamp duty holiday.

Last summer, the Government temporarily increased the amount at which the tax is paid to £500,000, for property sales. The tax break was due to end on 31 March, but it will now end on 30 June. After this date, the starting rate of stamp duty will be £250,000 until the end of September.

But Chris, whose dad studied in Sheffield and who regularly visits cousins in the city, says house buyers are being trapped in a situation whereby prices rise above £500,000 and they miss out on the stamp duty holiday.

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Stamp duty campaigner Chris Holland

He has launched a petition calling on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to make the stamp duty holiday apply when contracts are exchanged, rather than at the point of completion. The petition has hit more than 5,500 signatures after just a week. At 10,000 signatures the Government, must respond, at 100,000 a Parliamentary debate will be considered.

Offshore surveyor Chris, aged 29, from Gateshead, said: “People are finding themselves becoming trapped in a scenario whereby house prices are much higher, and at the same time they will now miss out on the stamp duty holiday. People are being financially punished from both sides, this from a policy that was designed to do the exact opposite.

“Exchanging contracts is exactly what it says. A contract, a legally binding agreement, to purchase a house often with an immediate 10% deposit being paid.

"So why shouldn’t you benefit from the stamp duty holiday being triggered at that moment of exchanging contracts, rather than at the point of completion? This will allow in particularly new build buyers, with continuous building delays due to COVID-19, to benefit from this policy.”

Chris acted after a new-build house he wanted in Prudhoe, Northumberland, shot up to £520,000 and could not be completed until October, meaning he could face a £16,000 stamp duty bill.

To sign the petition visit https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/581308