Property

Air of panic sets in as half admit worries surrounding stamp duty deadline

Property Reporter
|
13th January 2021
For sale 408

As it stands at the moment, eleven weeks today, time will be up for those seeking to take advantage of the government's stamp duty holiday and, according to new research, the panic has begun to set in.

High-net-worth mortgage broker, Enness Global, polled 1,000 current homebuyers to find out to just what extent the current stamp duty holiday in its various forms across the UK has helped boost the market.

Participants in the survey were asked:

If they decided to buy a property because of the current stamp duty holiday?
If they are worried that their sale won’t complete in time because of the current market backlog?
If they think the current stamp duty holiday should be extended?

Despite the stamp duty holiday taking the lion's share of credit for the recent explosion of activity in the housing market, just 25% of homebuyers stated that it was the driving motivation behind their decision to buy, with 71% buying for alternative reasons.

Since the property sector reopened for business, buyers have flooded the market and this heightened activity has caused notable delays and a backlog of sales, largely at the backend legal stages of the transaction process.

With many left in limbo and waiting to complete, it’s no surprise that 48% of homebuyers are worried that their sale won’t complete before the March 31st deadline and they will still be required to pay stamp duty.

No surprise then, that 67% of homebuyers would like to see the current stamp duty holiday extended beyond the end of March.

Hugh Wade-Jones, Managing Director of Enness Global Mortgages, commented: “It’s clear that the opportunity to save on stamp duty has helped to revitalise the UK property market in what have been tough times due to Covid.

"However, for many homebuyers it has been an added bonus rather than the driving factor behind their intent to purchase, with just 25% of buyers entering the market due to the stamp duty holiday itself. This is still quite considerable when you consider there are around one million transactions completed a year and so a 25% boost translates to hundreds of thousands of additional sales.

"Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and it looks unlikely that we will see an extension beyond the original March deadline.

"With the clock ticking, those yet to complete due to current market delays will be forgiven if an air of panic is starting to set in, having had an offer accepted well in advance of the deadline.

"Perhaps a fair alternative to an extension would be to allow those who have an offer formally accepted prior to the end of March to also qualify for stamp duty relief.”

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