Property

Determined house hunters fuelling biggest sales pipeline in a decade

Property Reporter
|
9th June 2021
Sold 123

Thousands of undeterred buyers are pressing ahead with their plans to buy a home regardless of the looming stamp duty holiday deadline this month, resulting in the largest sales pipeline in ten years, according to Rightmove.

According to the latest data from the portal, more than 700,000 homes are marked Sold Subject to Contract and going through the conveyancing process across Great Britain, rising from 613 at the start of the year. However, the frenzied market over the past few months had led to homes being marked as sale agreed at a quicker rate than they are completing.

While there are many buyers who will be trying to make sure they meet the June deadline, new research among buyers hoping to buy by this September in England has found that the stamp duty holiday is not the biggest motivator for moving.

Only 29% of this group said they expected to complete in time to make use of the stamp duty holiday. The most common reasons for moving are to move to a bigger home, if someone comes across the right property, relocating to the countryside or the coast, and moving to a home with a garden.

Of those who are expecting to make use of the stamp duty holiday, only 4% said they would abandon their plans completely if they missed either the June or September deadline. Over half (53%) said they would go ahead as planned, one in four (25%) said they would try to renegotiate with the seller, and 13% said they would plan to buy a cheaper home.

Of the 704,000 sales going through, 220,000 were marked as Sold Subject to Contract between July last year and the end of February this year in England and are yet to complete. The current average time from sale agreed to completion is four months.

Of the 220,000, there are 131,000 that are over £250,000, making this group in most urgent need to get their sale over the line before the end of June when the stamp duty holiday drops from properties worth £500,000 or below to £250,000 or below in England.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data, says: “The easing of restrictions, extended stamp duty holiday, better mortgage availability for first-time buyers, race for space and relocation plans have all combined to create the biggest conveyancing logjam we’ve ever recorded over the past ten years.

"We really hope those who had at least four months to make it through to completion will make it in time to beat the first stamp duty deadline, but with the tapering until September many will still make some savings so all will not be lost. The pace of properties coming on and off the market is also the quickest we’ve recorded, and agents are telling me they have multiple viewings followed by a number of offers within days of a property first appearing on Rightmove.

"At the start of this year we had anticipated a quieter second quarter of the year, but buyer demand and the pipeline has continued at pace, making it an incredibly busy time for agents and conveyancers in many areas right now.”

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