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Strong Housing Market

David Leviten, Partner and Head of Commercial Property provides us with his thoughts on todays report in The Express that the housing market was 'in rude health' with rise in new mortgages applications https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/property/1330209/housing-market-people-buying-homes-new-mortgages-figures

I believe that the strong house market is purely a function of the stamp duty land tax temporary relief that has been authorised by the chancellor and which is for the period from 8th of July 2020 until 31st of March 2021. As a result during this period the first £500,000 is exempt from SDLT on residential purchases.

I have two observations

Firstly many people have been furloughed and we will have to see when the furlough period comes to an end at 31st October 2020 whether there is a knock-on effect on the demand for houses giving it is expected that unemployment will rise.

Secondly even if the house market survives the effect of the end of the furlough scheme, I am sorry to say but I predict that demand will reduce immediately after the stamp duty land tax temporary relief expires on the 31st of March 2021. 

I sincerely hope I am wrong about the above, we will have to wait and see.