Biggest conveyancing blockage in a decade as stamp duty deadline looms

Jun 22, 2021
The easing of restrictions, extended stamp duty holiday, better mortgage availability for first-time buyers, race for space and relocation plans have all combined to create the biggest conveyancing logjam recorded over the past ten years.
There are now 704,000 sales currently going through the conveyancing process across Great Britain, the highest over the past decade, according to the latest data from Rightmove.
At the start of the year the sales pipeline across Great Britain stood at 613,000, but the frenzied marketing over the past few months had led to homes being marked as sale agreed at a quicker rate than they are completing.
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While there are many buyers trying to meet the June deadline, Rightmove's research among buyers hoping to buy by this September in England, has found that the stamp duty holiday is not the biggest motivator for moving.
Only 29% of respondents said they expected to complete in time to make use of the stamp duty holiday. The most common reasons for moving are a) requiring a bigger home, b) finding the right property, c) relocating to the countryside or the coast, and d) moving to a home with a garden.
Of those who are expecting to make use of the stamp duty holiday, only 4% said they would abandon their plans completely if they missed either the June or September deadline.
Over half (53%) said they would go ahead as planned, one in four (25%) said they would try to renegotiate with the seller, and 13% said they would plan to buy a cheaper home.
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Of the 704,000 sales going through, 220,000 were marked as 'Sold Subject to Contract' between July last year and the end of February this year in England and are yet to complete. The current average time from sale agreed to completion is four months.
Of the 220,000, there are 131,000 that are over £250,000, making this group in most urgent need to get their sale over the line before the end of June when the stamp duty holiday drops from properties worth £500,000 or below to £250,000 or below in England.
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