It's been estimated that 600,000 homebuyers agreeing a sale from May 2020 onwards will not pay any stamp duty at all and are set to be saving £5 billion in total – that is an average of £4,660 each, according to Zoopla.
Last month, many questioned whether the further 140,500 waiting to complete would be able to do so in time for the March 31st deadline, but in light of the government's March Budget announcement, those concerns are no longer necessary.
Not only have the government extended the stamp duty holiday for another three months – taking us to June 30th – but the scheme will also have a staggered ending, with properties worth £250,000 or under eligible for savings of up to £2,500 until 30th September this year.
Along with an extended furlough scheme and the re-introduction of government-guaranteed 95% mortgage loans, these initiatives will protect the property market and mean that homeowners, first-time buyers and investors are shielded from a sudden withdrawal of support.
Who does this affect?
With the stamp duty only paid on completion, it has not only benefitted those already in the process of buying when this announcement was made but also acted as an incentive for other buyers to move before the original 31st March deadline.
This demand and more homes on the market has boosted overall activity levels in the property sector.
So, given the extension, it's predicted that we'll see a strong spring and summer for property sales, having already demonstrated above average seasonal averages for the previous winter.
What can I do to speed up my property transaction?
If you’re in the process of buying a home, there are a number of steps you can take to help make the conveyancing process go as smoothly as possible.
1. Make sure you have all the relevant paperwork to hand.
2. Respond to any additional information as quickly as possible.
3. If you need to sign any documents and return them to your solicitor, deliver them by hand.
4. Communicate regularly with your solicitor and estate agent to keep everything on track. Maybe agree to have weekly updates from everyone involved.
5. Prepare to be flexible.
Research Director from Zoopla – Richard Donnell – commented last month that “demand for housing started 2021 as strongly as last year", going on to say that at the time, there was "limited evidence of new buyers being put off by the proposed ending" of the stamp holiday on the 31st March.
Contact us today for more information or to get started with your next sale or property purchase.