Are UK homebuyers running out of time to meet the stamp duty deadline?

If you are currently buying or selling your home at the moment, you will be very aware of the looming deadline of the government’s stamp duty holiday. 

At Resolve Financial Solutions, we are certainly finding things are taking longer with mortgage offers and this is mainly due to the sheer volume of business. What would have usually taken a couple of weeks is now taking a month or possibly longer. 

The stamp duty holiday currently in place on homes costing up to £500,000 has definitely helped fuel the housing market which has resulted in high demand. Zoopla says that around 140,000 property sales are currently in the pipeline – double the number usually seen at this time of year.

But dealing with the coronavirus pandemic has been a challenge throughout the whole home buying process. Searches are taking longer; the conveyancing process is taking longer and also the legal side of the process with solicitors is taking longer. Recent research events indicated that in some parts of the country it was taking 115 days to complete a home purchase. 

With all this in mind, we believe that the UK government should not only be extending furlough but also considering the extension of the stamp duty holiday to at least 30th June. If this isn’t extended then the country runs the risk of thousands of sales falling at the final hurdle which will have a drastic effect on the housing market. 

What will this mean if an extension is granted?

Well, it will allow individuals applying for mortgages in December to have a chance to actually complete on their home in Spring 2021. It will also mean that some people who plan to purchase new builds that have been delayed due to the shutdown of the construction industry in the first lockdown, will be able to complete on their purchase. 

Overall, if the extension is granted, there will be less pressure on the system and reduce the stress for movers and businesses. It will also aid the stabilisation of the UK housing market in a time when vaccines should be available to the general public and the pandemic will be beginning to be a distant memory. 

What are your thoughts? 

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