Buyers have a second chance at stamp duty savings
Initially announced in 2020, the stamp duty holiday was intended to aid homeowners through the buying process during the pandemic. As expected, many took this opportunity to upgrade to their dream home or purchase their next investment, as savings of up to £15,000 were up for grabs. Although it was thought that activity would begin to peter out at the end of last year, given that the original completion deadline was March 31st, that wasn't the case for the first part of 2021.
Now, with the rumoured extension announcement, the nation's home movers have a second chance at seeing incredible savings, with around 613,000 properties at 'sale agreed' by mid-January and likely to be the first to benefit from this protracted period.*
Even with an end in sight, buyers and sellers appeared mostly unfazed and continued to buy and sell regardless of the March deadline, which may have been as a result of the increasing availability of mortgage products with 10% deposits. Another possible explanation for this is that property priorities have changed in the past 12 months due to sellers needing more space and falling out of love with their current home, making their need to move more urgent.
By giving homeowners and investors until the end of June, it is thought that the housing market will see further spikes in buyer activity as conditions prove advantageous, with the sector already demonstrating above average trends compared to previous years.
During a 10-day period in January, there was a reported 12% increase in estate agency enquiries and a 9% increase on sales agreed from 2020. Combined with the fact that Rightmove are seeing ever-increasing website visit numbers, which in January were 33% higher than last year, these statistics give homeowners and buyers a promising opportunity in 2021.
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