Key timings you need to know about the stamp duty holiday

Key timings you need to know about the Stamp Duty Holiday

Data from Zoopla states that the average time it takes between agreeing a sale and completing is normally just under 100 days. From the data collected it shows that 92% of all sales agreed in November typically complete by the end of March the following year. For sales agreed in January this figure drops to 54% and in February 17%.

However, in today’s housing market the sales pipeline is now 50% bigger than a year ago. With 140,000 more home sales in the system, there is a huge amount of pressure on estate agents, lenders, valuers, conveyancers and other professionals in the housing market.

It would be no surprise that this sheer volume of business could cause the buying timeline to increase in the short term.

Richard Donnell, research and insight director at Zoopla, said: “Those who leave it to January to start their search for a home will be cutting it fine.

“Just half of sales agreed in January will convert into a completed sale by the end of March so those looking to beat the stamp duty deadline will need to be well prepared.”

What’s driving the boom?

The main driver has been the pandemic, which has led people to re-evaluate their homes.

The stamp duty holiday which ends on 31 March 2021 means that almost nine out of 10 property transactions are no longer subject to stamp duty. This is seen as an ‘added bonus’ for buyers to complete before next April according to Zoopla’s House Price Index.

What to do to improve your chances of beating the stamp duty holiday deadline?

Looking at the data from Zoopla it is clear that if you are looking to sell your existing home and move up/down the housing ladder you must be prepared well in advance.

One way in which you can prepare in advance would be to sign up a conveyancer at the same time as listing your home for sale so that the property is ‘contract ready’ as soon as a deal is agreed. This could decrease your transacting timeline by a number of weeks.

Donnell explained: “Finding an agent before Christmas and instructing a conveyancer to prepare all the sellers legal information will be essential to boosting the chances of saving up to £15,000.”

Buyer incentives to 10-year NHBC building warranties make the option of purchasing a new build home direct from a house builder appealing to home buyers wanting to complete before stamp duty ends.

Another way to secure a quick sale would be buying a property at auction. This can avoid a potentially lengthy, conventional buying process.

When making an offer ensure it is one that the seller will readily accept so that you can kickstart the conveyancing process as quickly as possible.

According to Zoopla’s latest House Price Index then you should ideally agree to buy a home this side of Christmas.