Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
4:00 AM 13th July 2021

“You’ll Benefit More Now The SDLT Is Ending” Says Local Property Expert

The Stamp Duty Holiday, a tax break which has spurred the UK housing market into overdrive throughout the pandemic, recently began to wind down. Until 30th September, buyers will only benefit from the break on the first £250,000 of their property, as opposed to £500,000 before 30th June this year.

Although the stamp duty holiday isn’t over yet, the property market is already beginning to recover from the overload of demand. Local property expert and owner of X-Press Legal Services North and West Yorkshire, Robert Moore explains that it might be better to buy a property now the tax break has eased, allowing you to take advantage of more benefits.

Robert comments: “We have seen an incredibly busy property market over the last year, which has been positive as many industries have struggled during the pandemic, but we know many conveyancing professionals are keen for a return to a normal pace.

“With many lenders continuing to offer low-rates of interest, many buyers will want to take advantage of sub-1% mortgages but not pay the inflated prices that have swept the market recently.”

Robert and Janet Moore Owners of X- Press Legal Services
Robert and Janet Moore Owners of X- Press Legal Services
As consumers rushed to benefit from the tax-break, house prices have soared. From the start of the year until June, house prices rose by 13.4% - a rate not seen since 2004. However, this rise now shows signs of slowing and buyers could benefit from lower house prices if they wait a few months more.

Robert comments: “We predict that house prices which were inflated due to the tax holiday may slowly drop over the next few months as sellers lower their valuation to move quickly or upon realising a lack of interest due to over-inflation.

“Trends we have seen throughout the pandemic including a move to rural areas and away from urban centres may switch as people begin to return to the office. This could easily help to lower house prices in many counties and towns but will see those in cities increase again. Properties in coastal or beauty spots will stay high as staycations continue. If you are looking to move to the countryside you may be wise to bide your time! “

Throughout the SDLT break, many lenders demanded buyers put down higher deposit levels than before, making it more difficult for some, especially first-time buyers, to buy a property. As demand decreases, these buyers will be able to benefit from lower rates whilst not having the need for huge deposits - making it easier to get on the property ladder.

An issue that has frustrated some home-buyers wanting to benefit from the tax break has been delays in the conveyancing process, in particular local search turnaround times in certain regions of the UK.

Robert explains: “As property search specialists, we liaise with local councils every day to access information which is vital to the conveyancing process. Much like other parts of the conveyancing sector, many local councils and search departments have been under incredible pressure throughout the holiday, and many didn’t have the technology to meet this increased demand - leading to huge backlogs in turnaround times for reports.”

Now that the stamp duty holiday has begun to taper off, local councils can catch up and new transactions may benefit from quicker turnaround times. This means buyers can be in their homes quicker; reducing issues with chains and easing the stress of moving home.