There will be hundreds of thousands of homebuyers who will be caught out by the stamp duty holiday deadline on March 31st 2021.
Several groups are calling on the Treasury in order to avoid gazumping homebuyers whose household finances have already being hit hard by the pandemic. This will also ensure that the housing market boom doesn’t end in a crash off the cliff edge. Data Company, ‘TwentyCi’, have stated there is currently 536,027 agreed sales throughout the UK, which are working towards completion.
Of course, all buyers wish to complete their property transactions by the March deadline, but the amount of sales currently being processed through to competition is effectively double the volume of sales that completed from January – March 2019.
Every buyer, solicitor and surveyor is facing huge delays. Adding to the pressure of this is the complications that lockdown has brought. The logistical processes of buying and selling properties have been overwhelmed at every stage. The industry average for properties to go from sale agreed to completion pre-pandemic was around 12 weeks, but this has now surged to around 20 weeks.
The worrying figures are these though. Out of around 540,000 sales currently being processed, nearly half of those were agreed within 20 weeks of the deadline. Therefore over 240,000 homebuyers across the country now face little chance of transacting in time to benefit from the tax saving, which on many occasions is thousands of pounds.
The question is when will these numbers stop surging? Buyers are continuing to flood the market. In the first week of January 2021, agreed sales increased by 16% in comparison to the same period in 2020.
It’s suggested, that up to a third of buyers will pull out of deals altogether in due course. If this theory transpires, then it would mean that 100,000 sales could all collapse at once.
What is my opinion on this matter?
“It’s clear that there is a huge amount of deals being built up. If the Chancellor chooses not to extend the holiday I believe chaos will ensue. Buyers will attempt to renegotiate offers, and threaten to gazump sellers, which will not only have an effect on those individuals selling their homes, but it only takes one person in the chain for 4 -5 sales to also collapse. I believe deals will fall off left, right and centre.”
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