The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has called for an emergency stamp duty holiday as the ongoing coronavirus crisis continues to hamper the UK property market.
RICS said that a large number of its members now believe house prices will fall over the next 12 months – it also expects a small reduction in rents in the near term.
The institute added that it believes a government intervention will likely be needed to revive the housing market once the virus recedes.
However, it said that when that time comes “normality” will still a long way off.
Hew Edgar, RICS head of government relations, said: “RICS is not an organisation that would call for a stamp duty holiday on a whim. As we start to emerge from this crisis, however, it is likely that the finances of potential homebuyers will be under strain, and the burden of stamp duty could put buyers off.
“For those who can afford to move they may lack confidence in the market, adding to the slow down.
“A stamp duty holiday could be one of the ways to reactivate the housing market quickly as a short-term measure.”
Over recent weeks the government has made a number of changes to help people deal with the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
However, there has been no mention of a change to stamp duty as yet.