Government Should Act Now – Help to Buy Scheme and Stamp Duty Relief Are at Cliff-Edge

The building of new homes across the UK is being delayed and the Government needs to step in a rescue two of its property incentives if house buyers are not to face a cliff edge at the end of March, said leading tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg.

Heather Powell, a partner and head of property at the firm said: ‘There are two government incentives which face a cliff-edge the Help to Buy Scheme and Stamp Duty relief which end or change significantly at the end of March. And if the government don’t step in homebuyers could lose the homes, they reserved months ago.’

‘The problem is that despite the fact that COVID-19 cases are falling construction workers are receiving texts that they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and that they should self-isolate for 10 days. The results of this are that house building is being seriously delayed and many homes could be delayed beyond 31st March. While no one would question the need to comply with the instruction the Government needs to consider the law of unintended consequences and take appropriate action to protect the position of the innocent.’

Heather added: ‘Buyers who will not be eligible for Help to Buy from 1st April 2021, will have to find alternative financing for the home they reserved many months ago. When the loss of the Stamp Duty relief is added in (which could add up to £15,000 to the cash they need to find), many may lose their home simply as a result of businesses and individuals complying with the Government rules on self-isolation.’

‘The Government needs to step in and agree that all buyers in this position that are currently eligible for the Help to Buy support and the Stamp Duty Relief – even if their purchase completes after 1st April 2021, giving peace of mind to all buyers in this position, and ensuring that no one is tempted to flout the pandemic isolation rules.’