People up and down the country are on the move and not only due to the Pandemic. Many buyers want to take advantage of the SDLT holiday. But, the clock is ticking, and if you want to avoid paying unnecessary tax, you need to be smart and act quick.
2020 has been a memorable year for the UK property market. In stark contrast to the gloomy forecasts put out in Q1, property prices, transactions and mortgage approvals have all been on the up with many new records set along the way.
Let’s be honest; no one wants to pay out more money for something than they need to. The UK Government’s generous SDLT holiday in conjunction with people wanting to move to less densely populated areas due to the pandemic outbreak has produced a mini-boom in the UK property market.
The savings purchasers will make by completing before the SDLT holiday ends are nothing to be sniffed at. For example, if you’re planning to buy a property valued at £310,000 you will save £5,500, those looking to purchase a property at £500,000 will find themselves saving a whopping £15,000!
As we’ve mentioned, time is against you, and this mini-frenzy in the market has resulted in massive backlogs due to volume and shortness in staffing. However, there are some ways you can buy a property knowing that if nothing unexpected happens, you should be able to complete within the SDLT holiday deadline and save yourselves a considerable amount of money.
There are still many places throughout the country where if you act sooner rather than later, you should be able to beat the deadline. If you’re planning to join the back of the property buying queue, there might still be some additional light on the horizon. Many industry bodies are urging the government to extend the SDLT holiday. It must be said that there is no guarantee this will happen. If you want to read more on the arguments why this should happen, you can read our recent article here.
Areas will you struggle to beat the deadline
In London and other areas such as Chichester, Cantebury and Winchester in the South of England you will be hard pushed to complete in time without careful planning. These areas are joined by areas in the North such as Salford, Lincoln, Lancaster and Newcastle amongst others.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom, and all buyers need to do is ask some questions which should help shorten the buying process.
Some of the things you should be establishing:
- Is there any ongoing chain to the house you are proposing to purchase? Are the sellers looking for somewhere else to buy which will extend the chain and add to the timescale and better still will they be moving into rented accommodation?
- Do they have outstanding finance on their property such as a mortgage which could involve unnecessary paperwork and is their solicitor/conveyancer not too overloaded and will do all they can to help you to complete well within time?
By looking at properties for sale with these factors, the buying process will be reduced considerably. So, if you want to move and have found the ideal property, providing you don’t have too long a chain behind you and if the property for sale offers the above, the chances are you won’t need to stress too much and should be able to take advantage of what could be a ‘one-off’ SDLT holiday.
Read more property guides and industry news in our dedicated section here.