The Times has reported that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to extend the Stamp Duty holiday until June.
It expects the decision to be announced in next week’s Budget.
John Eastgate, managing director of property finance at Shawbrook Bank, said: “If confirmed, an extension to the stamp duty holiday will deliver a soft landing for those transactions already in the pipeline and fearful of missing the current end date.
“However just changing when it ends doesn’t tackle the challenge of how to deliver a graceful and managed exit from an incentive that has served its purpose. The market has shown itself to be resilient. Homeowners and investors can look to the future with more certainty. Strong demand and limited supply will underpin house prices through the remainder of the year and over the long-term, so there is no merit in holding off if you’re thinking of buying.”
Matthew Cooper, managing director of Yes Homebuyers, added: “You have to question the sanity of a government that deliberately chooses to intensify an already serious issue by repeating the exact cause of the issue in the first place.
“Those looking to purchase the most expensive asset in their life are arguably some of the least in need of financial support in the current climate.
“When you couple this with the angst felt by many current homebuyers due to the huge market delays already caused by the stamp duty holiday, it seems fairly irresponsible to add further fuel to the flames with a deadline extension.
“We know that a large proportion of transactions are in danger of falling through, bringing property values down with them. So reading between the lines, it certainly looks as though the government are taking a head in the sand approach to prolong the inevitable rather than extending a genuine helping hand to homebuyers.”