This week I wanted to talk about stamp duty. There is no doubt about it, property sales across the UK are flying. Many estate agents are busier than they have ever been. At JDG we have agreed 42 sales already this October, this more than twice the amount we agreed on last October (and we also sold most houses in the city that month too!). Mortgage lending is at a 13 high year high as people look to get moved asap.
As we have discussed before, the housing market was fuelled by pent up demand in the beginning and the desire for more outside space. Sadly we have also seen an increase in separations. In these situations, it is often that one house is sold and two smaller ones are purchased. Then there has been the need for space as more and more people are finding themselves working from home.
Now the desire to save the stamp duty as fuelled the fire. The problem is time is running out for those that wish/want to make this saving. It is a saving which is not to be sniffed at. For someone buying at £500,000, it equates to £15,000.
In normal market conditions, most sales agreed before the new year will complete by 31st March. Only 54% of sales agreed in January will make the deadline, 17% in February and 3% in March.
Increased buyer demand over summer has led to 140,000 more sales in the system than usual (Zoopla). This has put huge pressure on lenders, valuers and conveyancers and is likely to cause delays in sales exchanging.
Our advice is simple, if your home is not on the market and you want to save this stamp duty, you need to act now. Buyers and sellers should also be appointing a solicitor to act straightaway and all buyers need to have their mortgage lined up ready.
Sellers need to have their paperwork gathered ready. This is all the documents, certifiucates and gurantees you may need. If your property is leasehold, you need to have sent off the relevant paperwork and / or management packs. By doing this, you could save yourself 3-4 weeks of delayed time and a lot of money in the process!
My name is Michelle Gallagher – if you want to talk about making sure your property is sale ready, please call me. My number is 01524 843322.
Thanks for reading