2021 has seen one of the craziest property markets ever known. The Stamp Duty holiday which finished at the end of June created a perfect storm like no other seen in the property market. Estate agents unable to get enough stock to satisfy potential buyers, buyers unable to get to viewings before properties going under offer and offers above asking price all created a buoyant property market in the first half of the year. Conveyancing solicitors, at the peril of local authorities getting searches back were faced with tighter than ever deadlines and more transactions than they have ever faced. With the Stamp Duty savings often being a make or break situation for buyers being able to complete the pressure to complete before the hard cut off was incredible.
Reports suggest over 78,000 completions in the last week of June with half of these on the 30th alone! A typical number of weekly completions is closer to 19,000 so volumes being over four times the usual created a stressful few months for home-movers, conveyancers and estate agents alike.
Early indications are that around 124,000 transactions that were agreed before the end of March did not complete in time to meet the Stamp Duty savings. Under normal times a conveyancing transaction typically takes around 12-14 weeks but under the recent market conditions typical transactions times have been around 21 weeks, meaning it’s no wonder so many people have missed out.
Reports state that so far those that have missed out are not generally pulling out of transactions. There are obviously some transactions that have failed due to not meeting the deadline but reports suggest these are not much higher than expected fall through rates. Estate agents are certainly reporting quieter days in July after the deadline where we are seeing a return to a more normal market.
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