Is Time Running Out To Take Advantage Of The Stamp Duty Holiday?

Act Now To Avoid Delays To Your Property Transaction

Do you want to save up to £15,000 on the cost of moving to a new home next year? Now is the time to start your next property purchase.

With time ticking as we head towards the last few months of the stamp duty holiday, there are reported log jams in the property transaction pipeline. Zoopla has recently announced that the average time from a property going under offer to actually completing the sale or purchase is now 100 days. This is expected to increase in the coming months as we approach the deadline of 31st March, 2021 before the governments begins to demand that normal stamp duty tax rates are payable. With this in mind, how much time do buyers have left to take advantage of the current tax relief holiday?

A Rush To Buy

Following lockdown, several factors have contributed towards a flurry of activity in the property market which could not have been predicted by property experts and economic analysts. A property solicitors Essex firm explains pent-up demand was created due a mass of buyers and sellers who were unable to act on their moving plans during lockdown and may even have seen their property chains collapse. This coupled with record-low interest rates and the government’s announcement of a stamp duty holiday has meant that we’re experiencing an excess of buyers flooding the markets. In some cases, people are bringing forward their moving plans by several years in order to take advantage of the incentives on offer, which including the government’s Help to Buy scheme.

As a result, record high sales have been negotiated and agreed, and there are almost 150,000 transactions in the market pipeline in comparison to the same period of 2019. This was represented by a sales agreed increase of 40-60% from July to October year on year. All of these sales are now in the pipeline waiting to be completed.

Delays In The Chain

Whilst such a significant boost in buyer activity is excellent news for the property market and related industries such as mortgage brokers, conveyancing and builders for example, unfortunately the rush to exchange has caused an enormous backlog in the system. From extra checks needed with mortgage applications to long delays in local authority searches, some experts are expecting that Zoopla’s current average of 100 days could extend to four or even five months. This is due to the volume of property transactions in the pipeline, the potential for reduced staffing caused by furlough or redundancies and of course the fact that Christmas falls within the next few weeks.

How Much Time Is Left?

If you would like to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday and save as much as £15,000 in stamp duty fees, then you should begin your preparations as early as possible and certainly well in advance of Christmas. If you have a house to sell, then this means instructing a conveyancer before being under offer, so that they’re able to start collating information for your buyer’s pack. If you haven’t yet found an agent, then now would be a great time to arrange some property valuations and have professional photos taken of your home.

Those who leave these tasks until January may well find that they’ve missed the boat and will be reliant on the hopes of a stamp duty holiday extension in order to save the tax and make your 2021 move more affordable.

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