Should the government consider permanent reductions to stamp duty?

November 29, 2021

The stamp duty holiday lit up what was an already heated property market and created what many are calling the ‘busiest H1 on record’. Savings of up to £15,000 encouraged buyers to push on with their homeownership plans, helping to keep the property market and wider UK economy afloat during a period of great turbulence.

However, just seven weeks now separate us and the end of the tax break, bringing the question of how the market should handle its conclusion into stronger focus. The industry is now considering if the tax exemptions should be made permanent, or at least for certain buyers, or if there should there be another initiative to replace it altogether.

Permanent reductions to stamp duty would help ensure homeownership remains a viable opportunity for the many, rather than the few who can rely on gifted deposits or larger savings. Although the spike in demand caused by the recent tax break has contributed towards strong house price growth in the last twelve months, ensuring that a high proportion of the population is able to engage with the housing market, despite an overall higher market value, is certainly preferable to a market with the opposite conditions.

As such, permanent reductions would help to democratise homeownership and ensure that the market retains its strength come the end of September.

Nonetheless, mortgage tech will be crucial whatever course of action the government decides to take. Efficiency gains are crucial no matter the market conditions and businesses should consider investing in tech to usher them in. Digital ID verification, automatic DIPs and faster back-end processing systems are just three ways that tech can take the heavy lifting in terms of admin, leaving brokers to tackle whatever market conditions they are faced with.

The stamp duty holiday has shown that unprecedented changes can sometimes be a force for good, so it’s time the mortgage market took the same approach to tech adoption. If you’re keen to see how our tech could help provide a boost to efficiency, book your platform demo today!