Trade sector SMEs call for a permanent Stamp Duty holiday
While the largest housebuilders in the country are collectively sitting on a £3bn war chest thanks to the introduction of the Stamp Duty holiday, it is also at the other end of the spectrum that the construction and trade sectors have seen much needed cash injections.
The booming housing market as a result of the Stamp Duty holiday has caused an unprecedented spike in the value of home improvement sectors. Testament to this, recent results posted by Kingfisher PLC – owner of B&Q and Screwfix – have shown that their like-for-like sales in the last quarter of 2020 grew by 16.9%. As more people have taken the opportunity to either renovate their new property, or maximise their property value ahead of sale, this money has been circulated back into the economy through retailers and tradespeople alike.
With the productivity of construction workers and tradespeople surging, one way of helping this upward trajectory of growth to continue throughout the new year is through the permanent extension of the Stamp Duty holiday.
Benjamin Dyer, CEO of Powered Now, an app designed to take the pain out of admin and paperwork for the trade sector, discusses what the Stamp Duty holiday means for the trades and the UK’s economy, as well as calling for a permanent Stamp Duty holiday:
“At our end of the market, trades companies that have up to 15 staff, there is very little definition between domestic and commercial. Our users can end up fitting a homeowners gas central heating one day, then acting as a contractor on an estate of new builds the next. Our market is built on blunt pragmatism; broadly speaking, they go where the work is.
There have been a lot of discussions recently about the impact of the pandemic on the trades, house prices and the chancellor’s hope we can spend our way out of a second recession. When the chancellor announced a Stamp Duty holiday at the start of the crisis he set a fire under a simmering property market. Thousands of homeowners – as well as first-time buyers – took advantage of this scheme to up sticks and move.
In order to sustain this growth in the coming year, we would encourage the government to make this Stamp Duty cut permanent beyond the March 31st deadline.
You could argue, as many have, this cut has created a sugar rush. An artificial spiking the market simply didn’t need as it was always going to explode post lockdown. In a word, this is rubbish. The truth is, this is money that is being reinvested into property and ultimately back into the economy. Homeowners are not making a saving; they are either stepping up or improving with everyone winning. The boom in the market has caused 950k small trade companies to not only ride the storm but ultimately thrive, and because of this we hope that come 31st March, it continues.”