The Stamp Duty holiday has been one of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s biggest economic mitigation strategies during the coronavirus crisis. Buyers are now trying to beat the partial end of the scheme on June 30 – but is it too late for you to beat the Stamp Duty holiday deadline?
After that date buyers in England and Northern Ireland will pay tax on the value of purchases over £250,000, unless it is their first home, while in Wales the threshold will go back to £180,000.
Buyers who manage to get in before the deadline will save themselves thousands of pounds on properties up to £500,000.
Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at Rics, said: “Ending a tax break always has the potential to be a little disruptive for a market but with the economy performing better than could have been expected even a short while ago and the cost of money still at rock bottom levels, the principal drivers supporting demand will remain in place even after the expiry of the stamp duty holiday.
“More challenging is the question of supply, a theme coming back strongly from respondents to the survey both with regard to the sales and lettings markets.”
Is it too late to take advantage of the Stamp Duty Holiday?
Kirsty Burnham, Head of Property at Movewise, has advised Express.co.uk readers on whether it’s wise to try and beat the Stamp Duty holiday deadline – and this depends on a number of important factors.
Ms Burnham says the type of property you are purchasing is important: “If you are purchasing a freehold property it would be possible to exchange and complete before the end of June if there are no complications in regards to paperwork/title.
“For a straightforward transaction where a vendors’ solicitor has all the contract paperwork ready (including the searches) it can be as quick as an ‘attended exchange’ which can happen in the space of a day, with completion a few days later.
“For leasehold properties there is much more legal work involved, so as much as it is possible to exchange and complete in two weeks you are reliant on much more detailed information being readily available, such as management and service charge information.”
The type of buyer you are is also important in beating that deadline, and searching for a mortgage in time could prove tricky.
Ms Burnham advises: “If you are purchasing a property with cash that is readily accessible then completing by the end of the month is possible.
“If you are reliant on a mortgage you are going to be very stretched to meet the deadline, particularly as the many lenders are insisting on completions taking place prior to June 21 due to envisaged backlogs thanks to transaction volume.”
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Ms Burnham also advises that the shorter your transaction chain is, the more chance you have of beating the June deadline.
She says: “If there is only one transaction in the chain – your purchase or your sale, then you should have a fair chance of the sale going through in time.
“As soon as more transactions in the chain become involved the chance diminishes due to all the factors previously mentioned. It is unlikely you are going to have a chain of cash buyers who have already applied for searches.
“However, if the chain is already well progressed, with highly efficient conveyancers working for you, it is possible.”
“If both solicitors, relevant to the transaction, have been instructed and they are happy with the timescales required then, depending on the other factors, there is no reason a sale cannot exchange and complete within 2-3 weeks.
“This is not a usual timescale for a property sale so you have to ensure that everyone involved is 100% committed.”
House prices are expected to stay high even when the change comes to a complete end in September, reverting back to £125,000.
First time buyers purchasing a property costing less than £500,000 are not required to pay any SDLT.