The stamp duty holiday deadline is approaching. Prospective homebuyers are being advised to act fast if they want to benefit from the temporary tax break. The UK property market is currently experiencing unprecedented high demand. This, combined with the impact of COVID-19, has caused a surge in delays.
Following the spring lockdown, the stamp duty holiday was introduced in a bid to kick start the market. During this time, many people re-evaluated their priorities for what they want in a home. From more space to a change of location, the lockdown sparked a release of previously suppressed demand. The break successfully re-energised home-movers and got the market moving again, but firms soon started to feel the strain.
Across the United Kingdom, estate agents, conveyancers, and mortgage brokers are calling on the government to extend the stamp duty break, beyond the deadline on 31st March 2021. Industry experts from 14 trade bodies have united to write to Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, formally requesting an extension of the deadline. At present, property professionals are working tirelessly to give their clients the best chance of completing on time.
Zoopla recently reported that there are approximately 140,000 sales currently underway – twice the expected number for the fourth quarter. As the deadline gets nearer, movers are looking for reassurance that they will complete in time to benefit from the savings. For estate agents and mortgage brokers, the call for extra customer support is only adding to the pressure.
There is also growing strain on councils to complete local authority searches quickly. Due to the high demand in the property industry, some councils have accumulated such a large volume of requests that they now face a considerable backlog to clear. Several councils are experiencing delays of up to seven weeks. This is a stark contrast to the average of just one week they took to complete before the pandemic.
However, there are increases in workload across the board. Lenders and surveyors have been inundated with requests as a result of the high volume of property transactions.
With delays expected throughout the process, you might be wondering how you can help your clients complete their transactions before the deadline. The best advice we can give is to prepare early and start laying the groundwork for the process as soon as possible.
The Moving Hub’s top tips to complete before 31st March:
• Prepare the property: If your client is selling their property, they should carry out any repairs before listing it for sale. Ensuring it is clean, tidy and that there is as much light coming in as possible when it is photographed.
• Avoid long chains: We all know that long chains can be complicated. Often delays are expected, so properties that have no or a short chain will give them a better chance of completing in time.
• Instruct a conveyancer quickly: This is where The Moving Hub can help! Getting the process started as soon as possible will save time for both you and your client in the long run.
If your clients are looking to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, they need to move swiftly. Waiting until the new year will reduce their chance of completing in time drastically. To find out how The Moving Hub can help, contact us today!