Homebuyers can still make the most of the stamp duty holiday despite the first phase ending in six days but will have to act quickly, a leading property lawyer has warned.
The first phase of the stamp duty holiday extension – where buyers have not had to pay the tax on the first £500,000 of a property’s value – will end on June 30.
However, some homebuyers are rushing to try to complete before the deadline the second phase – where the first £250,000 is tax free – which will carry on until September 30.
Simon Nosworthy, head of residential conveyancing at London law firm Osbornes Law, said: “There is a perception that the stamp duty holiday will be over on June 30, but that isn’t the case. There are still reasonable savings to be made until the end of September, but buyers will need to act quickly to make sure they complete before the deadline. I would say that if a buyer starts the process in the next 5 weeks or so they should be confident of completing before the September deadline.”
Simon predicts that the market will remain buoyant despite the lower tax-free amount. He added: “I would expect the lower and the higher ends of the market to remain busy in the next few weeks,” he says. “For those at the lower end the saving on £250,000 is still a substantial amount, while for those at the top end the saving of a few thousand pounds is a drop in the ocean. As a result, I would expect large transactions to be unaffected by the end of the stamp duty holiday’s first phase.”
The main issue for home buyers is that most of the housing stock has already been sold during the last few months.
Simon added: “There is a supply and demand issue as most of the housing stock has been going really quickly. We had one case where the buyer was going for a fairly average 1940s semi-detached but the house went to sealed bids with 12 bidders and each potential buyer had to give reasons why they wanted the property and evidence of their finances. The market has been exceptionally busy, so finding a property to purchase is an issue. However, if you do then it’s not too late to make the most of the stamp duty holiday.”