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The property market is simply frantic right now ahead of the Stamp Duty Holiday deadline. The Spring season is notoriously busy for moving home - but add the effects of the pandemic into the mix with people re-assessing what they want and need from their home, as well as the extension of the Stamp Duty Holiday – and the consequences have been a market full of delays and stiff competition. With the property market a hive of activity, can vendors be sure their sale will complete by the June deadline if they are relying on the stamp duty holiday savings to fund their onward move?
An estimated 628,000 sales are currently in the pipeline according to Rightmove, and the number is growing daily, meaning the chances of completing before the June stampduty holiday deadline is starting to look bleak for homeowners. The ‘cliff edge’ was much worse before the March extension, but with many buyers still stuck waiting to complete, they may not get the full discount they were hoping for and counting on.
Newspapers, such as ‘The Times’ and industry heavyweight ‘Property Industry Eye’ are all warning that the lengthy completion timescales many are experiencing right now, may result in buyers missing out on the SDLT savings. Legal Firm Taylor & Emmet report the average completion time has risen to 18-20 weeks, as opposed to pre-Covid timelines of 8 to 12 weeks, potentially leaving many homeowners left high and dry.
So, what are the property professionals saying about the current market, its challenging conditions, and increasing delays? Here we delve a little deeper to give you some perspective when selling your home.
After declaring their busiest ever consecutive days in April with over 9.7 million people visiting their site, Rightmove say demand for properties in March this year was 34% higher than in March 2020. As the market shows no signs of slowing, buyers continue to scramble to complete their sale and take advantage of the Stamp Duty Holiday savings.
Reporting on the congested pipeline, Rightmove are advising homeowners to get their ‘ducks in a row’. Property conveyancing, from agreeing a sale to completing the sale, are taking ‘just under four months’, which is a fortnight longer than pre-pandemic figures and rising. If these timelines are put into play, vendors hoping to move before the end of June, may well be disappointed.
Continue to report on the ‘mismatch’ between supply and demand within the current market. With average demand 13% higher than this time last year, and sellers coming to market falling by 13%, there just aren’t enough houses coming to market to go around.
The market is also seeing more 1st time buyers entering the pipeline seeking a 95% mortgage who don’t have a house to sell, so again, adding pressure to an already stretched and unbalanced market. Issuing a similar warning to Rightmove, Zoopla comment that if you are looking for a new home to buy, its ‘important to be organised and be prepared to move quickly’.
Homeowners are currently reporting their frustrations on the long delays they are experiencing from their legal and conveyancing teams when selling their home on the open market. A recent study reported '57% of sellers and 59% of buyers found the buying and selling process took much longer than they expected'. Unsurprisingly, the area identified that could be most improved, was the speed of the service, which due to current demand, is only likely to increase.
Put simply, if you haven’t sold your own home or put your home on the market yet, it is highly unlikely you will meet the June deadline without another solution. If you are banking on any savings from the stamp duty holiday, be warned, you may not complete in time, so carefully plan your finances and have a contingency in place in case you miss out on the stamp duty holiday and have to make up any shortfall.
Stamp duty will enter the transitional phase from June 30th, after which there will be no stamp duty on properties bought up to the value of £250,000. This ‘tapered’ discount will apply till September, when standard stamp duty rates will apply.
There have been calls, and even a petition set up, to further extend the SDLT holiday again, but experts including Andrew Montlake from Coreco Mortgages warn that moving ‘the date does nothing more than move the problem further along the road’, so like any good holiday it must come to an end sooner or later.
Many agents won’t let vendors view properties at this time unless their own property is at least under offer or sold. This process, labelled as ‘covid vetting’, has been slammed by TV property expert Kirsty Allsopp who recently commented, ‘hate it, hate it, hate it’, regarding the current vetting hurdle's buyers are facing.
So, what can you do to get yourself into a strong position, to move quickly, get ahead of the competition and still take advantage of the holiday savings before the end of June?
Put simply, the best way to get ahead of the competition is to get organised and try to make yourself chain free, and this is where Spring can help. Our sell house fast service can complete on your existing home sale in as little as seven days, avoiding the open market, and putting you in a much stronger position to win the race to the door of your dream home. We buy any house and there is no need to do any renovations to your property prior to selling, so the speedy sale can give you a much greater advantage.
Our dedicated Property Advisors are on hand to help you make the right decision for your next home sale and guide you through our home buying process.
Contact us today to make your move.
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