Estate agent Knight Frank predicts that there will be 38% fewer transactions this year
compared to last, owing largely to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
In all, the firm expects to see residential sales fall by 526,000, while mortgage approvals are
set to fall by 350,000, which would lead to stamp duty losses of £4.4bn and a £1.6bn
reduction in VAT receipts.
Knight Frank has also echoed the calls from other players in the housing market for the
government to introduce a stamp duty holiday, while it also requested for the Help to Buy
scheme to be extended to boost development.
Liam Bailey, partner, global head of research, GB, Knight Frank, said: “Despite the fact the
government will forgo a significant amount of stamp duty revenue in 2020, it seems clear
there will need to be a stamp duty holiday to actually get the market moving once the
lockdown is lifted, but this move alone will not be enough – there will need to be moves
across a wider number of areas including an extension to Help to Buy to support first time
buyers and support activity across all price bands.”
He also said that the time for which existing pending planning permissions are valid could be extended, given that developers are currently unable to build.
Meanwhile, less reliance on pen and paper, allowing for the implementation of blockchain,
would improve the conveyancing process. This has recently been trialled by the Land