Covid-19 Update: We are continuing to provide our usual services whilst maintaining the safety of clients and colleagues. Read our latest update here.

Complete the form below to ask us a question or make an enquiry. We’ll get back to you via phone or email as soon as possible.

Insights

Possible extension to the stamp duty holiday

Posted on 17th February 2021 in Residential Property, Coronavirus Pandemic

Posted by

Nick Conner

Partner and Solicitor
Possible extension to the stamp duty holiday

If you are thinking of moving house, or in the process of buying a property, you will most probably be aware of the current stamp duty holiday, and you may also have considered whether you will be able to take advantage of it, allowing you to save up to £15,000 on your property purchase.

 

Demand and delays from the stamp duty holiday

The stamp duty holiday was introduced to stimulate the property market and means that until the end of March 2021, the level at which stamp duty is charged on a residential property has been raised to £500,000. However, arguably, the scheme has been too successful, putting pressure on the industry as more people race to take advantage of the tax break.

Coupled with operations restrictions, the stamp duty holiday has slowed almost every part of the conveyancing process. Surveyors, mortgage lenders, search agencies and conveyancing lawyers are struggling to meet demand which means that the average property transaction completion time has increased from 12 weeks to 16 weeks. As a result, current new buyers are unlikely to meet the March 31st deadline to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.

 

Extension to the stamp duty holiday

The government has stated that it has no plan to extend the stamp duty holiday long term but may extend it by six weeks to account for delays in the process. However, during the pandemic, the rules often change at the last minute. There have been suggestions that the Chancellor could allow transactions which have passed a certain point in the process to continue without the buyer being liable to pay stamp duty even where they exceed the March deadline. Further tax announcements are expected as part of the Budget, scheduled for March 3rd.

 

How buyers and sellers can be prepared

There are several things that both buyers and sellers can do in the meantime to ensure their property transaction moves as efficiently as possible:

  • Get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) This is required by law, and you may still need to get one. You should also gather other paperwork, such as planning permissions and compliance certificates from any works done.
  • Sort out a mortgage in principle. Before you make an offer on a property, start the mortgage process. Many lenders are experiencing delays, and mortgage options are fewer - particularly for first-time buyers. Get a head start.
  • Consider time for searches. Many local authorities are struggling to keep up with the demand for searches. You may wish to discuss using a private company via your solicitor.

 


 

Paper plane

 

Get the latest news straight from our legal experts.

Subscribe to our newsletter to recieve current, dedicated, suppport and guidance from our solicitors straight to your inbox, wherever you are.

Company & Industry

Related Insights

Insights

How can you deal with illegal or unauthorised encampments?

Posted on 20th July 2021 in Rural Property & Countryside Matters, Parks, Affordable Housing

As we move into the school holidays, we are seeing an increase in instructions for removing unauthorised encampments from land. Given the lack of affordable housing, traveller sites and, now, holiday accommodation in hot spot areas, we expect to see a big rise in unauthorised encampments across popular visitor sites.

Posted by

Sarah Schooling

Associate and Solicitor
Insights

Delays when registering a Lasting Power of Attorney

Posted on 16th July 2021 in Later Life Planning

The England and Wales Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has announced that it is currently experiencing delays when registering Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).

Posted by

Sue Halfyard

Associate and Chartered Legal Executive