With a booming housing market as a result of reduced stamp duty, property portal Rightmove has claimed that there are delays of up to a month between an offer being accepted and the completion of the sale.
Delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, combined with a rush in demand due to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s reduction on stamp duty are the primary contributors, with nearly 40 per cent more sales than at this time in 2019, according to Rightmove’s monthly house price index.
The rush to buy and sell whilst taxes are lower has led to an increased demand for conveyance solicitors, in Epson and across the United Kingdom.
Delays On All Sides
The conveyance process involves a large number of groups, from lenders and solicitors on each side to estate agents and council staff.
A mix of work from home measures, furloughed staff and redundancies have significantly affected the capacity of these particular parties. In particular, there are fewer council staff working so conveyancing searches are taking longer.
Also, mortgage providers are facing a higher number of applications than usual, which has led to delays in the application process.
These delays are critical, as the window for reduced stamp duty ends on 31st March 2021. If these sales are delayed it could potentially halt a house sale in its tracks.
Part of the rush to sell, and ironically the reason for the delays comes from a reduction in stamp duty land tax, which affects sales of houses from 8th July 2020 until 31st March 2021.
If the house is worth less than £500,000 there is no stamp duty tax, providing an incentive for many homeowners wanting to make a move to do so in the next six months.
As well as this, work from home advice has led to far fewer commutes for a lot of staff who live near major cities such as London.
As a result, many buyers have sold in the city to buy a much bigger house where prices are lower, safe in the knowledge they may only need to commute once or twice a week in the current circumstances.
How To Reduce The Delays
Whilst the influx will cause some delays, so long as you keep things moving, these delays will not necessarily cause an issue for a sale.
Make sure you are prepared; get all of your searches, documents, pre-contract enquiries and contracts set up and agreed ahead of time. It will mean that everything is ready once you do agree to terms with a buyer.
It is worth checking out the time scales of a solicitor and work closely with all parties involved to ensure that the required information is ready on time and continually moving.
Working with an efficient, friendly conveyance solicitor will help ensure positive communication across the various groups who are involved with the process.
With the month-long delay, time is becoming of the essence to complete sales before Christmas, as the deadline including the expected lockdown is fast approaching.