Since the Stamp Duty holiday was introduced earlier this year by the Government, there is no denying the surge in recent months in the property market. Here at Ringrose Law, our conveyancing team has seen unprecedented levels of house buying and selling activity taking place over this autumn/winter.

However, as the Stamp Duty Holiday is scheduled to come to an end on 31st March 2021 many in the conveyancing chain are trying to cope with the huge increased level of activity in the property market, causing delays and concerns for completion in time for the deadline.

What does the Stamp Duty Holiday mean?

The threshold for paying Stamp Duty has been raised from £125,000 to £500,000.

Currently, if you buy a home for £500,000 or less at this time, you may not have to pay stamp duty. If the property costs more than £500,000, then you will only have to pay stamp duty on the excess.

This “stamp duty holiday” is scheduled to come to an end on 31 March 2021.

If your purchase completes on or after 1 April 2021, then you will not benefit from these changes and will have to pay stamp duty at the usual rate.

Increased pressures

A typical conveyancing transaction can take 12-16 weeks, assuming there are no delays in the chain.

Due to the increased pressure on the market and volume of transactions things are starting to take longer, with average searches taking between 4-8 weeks, therefore those instructing a Solicitor now in the hope of exchange and completion by 31st March may be taking a risk in avoiding the Stamp Duty fees.

Already in the chain?

If you haven’t already instructed a Solicitor, we strongly advise you do so as soon as you put your house on the market. It is important to work closely together with your Solicitor, ensuring documentation is completed and returned promptly and information provided to avoid delaying the Sale/purchase.

We also advise that you have your mortgage offer in place to avoid delays, taking into consideration the Stamp Duty fees you may have to pay if you miss the deadline.

As the Stamp Duty Holiday deadline of 31 March 2021 approaches, if it becomes apparent that you will not be able to complete a purchase in time to save the Stamp duty you will need to decide whether you can afford to continue with the purchase and to pay the usual rate of Stamp duty.

Anyone currently in the process of buying should be factoring in Stamp Duty costs into their budgets, many things can delay or even stop the conveyancing transaction going through which are beyond your control.

Here to Help

If you are thinking of selling or purchasing a home or already in the conveyancing transaction, please get in touch with our award-winning conveyancing team to discuss your options and set your expectations. email wecanhelp@ringroselaw.co.uk

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