A prominent estate agency says there’s a stronger case for a stamp duty cut now than there was during the pandemic.
Knight Frank says that in retrospect the market possibly did not need a stamp duty holiday in July 2020, four months into the pandemic.
Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, says trading activity was strong during successive lockdowns as people reassessed how and where they lived.
But he insists a form of UK-wide support would certainly be welcome now, given the negative events supressing demand.
He says: “We will find out if the government has a plan in the Autumn Statement later this month.
“In the meantime, the number of UK mortgage approvals was more than a third below the five-year average in September and transaction volumes were down by just under a quarter.
“Unlike the early months of Covid or the period following the mini-Budget, there is no single cause of the slowdown. Sentiment has been affected by a series of factors including the financial pain of higher mortgage rates, the Bank of England’s struggle to contain inflation, the impending general election, and uncertainty arising from overseas military conflicts.”
The weak sentiment in the sales market means that some prospective sellers are hesitating and opting to let out their property instead, according to Bill.
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