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Start your homebuying process by 1 November to use stamp duty holiday – A serious look at the housing market in the next 6 months+

Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Start your homebuying process by 1 November to use stamp duty holiday – A serious look at the housing market in the next 6 months+

Today, Legal & General warned that homeowners planning to move and benefit from the current Stamp Duty holiday should begin their home-buying journey by 1 November or risk missing out.

Today, Legal & General warned that homeowners planning to move and benefit from the current Stamp Duty holiday should begin their home-buying journey by 1 November or risk missing out.

Their survey found those who need to sell their home and find a new property will need to allow nearly four months to complete their housing transaction as the housing market continues to experience extraordinary levels of demand. Our experience at So You Property, across Summer 2020 and into the Autumn, would bear this out. If the average conveyancing time in the UK is 10-12 weeks (it is) there have been many factors at play that would lead us to think that you can add a month to that at the moment. Some of the things slowing sales down have included furloughed solicitors (and their assistants), delayed searches as the councils rightly focus on the pandemic, and the sheer demand placed by the housing boom on the availability of surveyors. Add to this the fact that mortgage lenders are currently taking up to a month to process offers and we have a period of slower-than-usual sales progression.

Of course, at So You, we constantly chase and work with all the players in your conveyancing to progress your sale as quickly as possible but, once matters are in the hands of lenders and solicitors, their workloads will always affect things.

Before the lockdown, the housing market was in rude health. Immediately after the lockdown there was a surge in activity partly driven by the stockpiled desire to move that had built up in people during 3 months of inactivity. The market bounced back immediately to the levels of pre-March and maybe a little higher.

To this was then added the Chancellor’s decision to grant a Stamp Duty holiday on the first £500,000 of property value. This turned a healthy property market into a late-summer boom. At So You Property, we think that the surge in activity will continue through into 2021 and may even surge again as the Stamp Duty holiday deadline approaches.

What deadline you say ..? Well … movers have until 31 March 2021 to take advantage of the Chancellor’s Stamp Duty incentive and there’s been no announcement about what happens after that.

Legal & General analysed all the data nationally to build an average homebuying timeline, which could be up to 15 weeks or up to 17 weeks for buyers with more complex requirements. Legal & General has therefore suggested that buyers need to begin their search by 1 November to take advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday and give themselves enough breathing space should any issues arise before completion.

If Stamp Duty returns to its normal rates on 1st April then a mover could be spending £2140 on an averagely priced Wirral property of £232k and this rises to £7500 at £350k and £12500 at £450k. First time buyers pay less but would still get a bill from the Chancellor of £2500 on a £350k property. It’s definitely worth thinking about – these figures are all zero until 31/3/21!

If reading this has motivated you to get active and get moving – please give us a call on 0151-5590779,

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Phil

So You Property


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