Comment: Hoping next week's Budget brings good news for movers

The stamp duty holiday extension is due to end on March 31. 

The stamp duty holiday extension is due to end on March 31. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Another week, another story about St Albans and Harpenden being rammed full of million-pound properties. 

A couple of weeks ago we learned that our local authority area had the twentieth highest number of £1m-plus sales in England between December 2019 and November 2020 (137 sales, with a median price of £1,257,000). 

Now, research has revealed that we have the most million-pound homes in the East of England, and the eleventh highest proportion of such properties in the UK - 12.2 per cent of the total housing stock, which is 7,420 homes.   

While these studies have been pulled together in slightly different ways, their conclusion – that there are lots of pricey properties in St Albans and Harpenden – is in synch, and undeniable.

And in these unpredictable lockdown days, what a comfort that certainty is! Well, sort of.  

One thing that isn’t certain is how we’re going to get out of the mess we’re currently in, something Boris Johnson has attempted to establish with his roadmap out of lockdown.  

What it lacks in guarantees, it more than makes up for in the hope it’s given us. (As ridiculous as it would have sounded a year ago, I almost shed a tear at the thought of seeing five friends, or a whole other family.)

The response from agents has been similarly positive; much like the rest of us, they’re welcoming the clarity we now have, and hoping for a speedy exit from the current restrictions. 

But until we know one way or another regarding the rumoured stamp duty holiday extension, movers remain in limbo and market forecasts look vague at best.

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Hopefully next week’s Budget will bring the news many movers are hoping for, with Rishi Sunak under pressure to at least taper the March 31 deadline. 

According to Rightmove, a six-week extension would allow most movers who agreed their purchase during 2020 to complete in time to take advantage of the potential £15,000 tax saving. 

And with the latest rumours suggesting an extension of three more months is on the cards, it’s looking like they’ll be in luck.