By now most of us have heard about the stamp duty holiday that was announced on July 8, 2020. This holiday effectively cut the rate of stamp duty to zero for all properties of £500,000 or under, until the 31st March 2021.
Recently, Emily House, an Acorn paralegal was invited onto BBC Radio Somerset to talk about the outcomes of this action on the housing market and those that are struggling to complete their sales before the very imminent deadline.
After hearing of several cases where, through no fault of their own, families were still waiting to complete, Emily explained why this was happening to so many families, despite the long window of opportunity.
“It has been a stressful experience for so many people during this time. What could and should have been a relatively straightforward process has been dogged as a result of COVID-19,” explains Emily.
“Not only has there been a massive increase in work for solicitors, simply because of the understandable demand, there have been delays due to the number of people working from home, not in their offices, or who have been furloughed. For instance, searches are taking up to a month to be returned, mortgage offers delayed, or changed at the last minute, or even withdrawn. The ongoing uncertainties of the situation have been tremendous.
“This year, more than ever, we have seen people dropping the price of their homes to get the sale through quickly and moving into B & B and renting to keep the chain is intact.“
When asked if a six month extension would help, Emily responded:
“This will not solve the current backlog and problem. In our opinion, the fairest way to deal with the fallout of this, is to ensure that everyone who has set the wheels in motion during the specified holiday period, be allowed to complete their transactions, with stamp duty relief honoured.“
Partner, David Sinclair said:
“It was great to hear Emily speak on the radio, she is a key member of our property team. Everyone in the Property team is working extremely hard under very difficult circumstances. Everyone is focussed on getting our clients moved into their properties as quickly as possible. Whatever the outcome of the government’s decision on stamp duty we will always work hard to ensure we get our clients transactions through and offer that local personal service and we would like thank our clients for being patient and understanding in these busy times.”
With the budget announcement due, many people will be waiting with baited breath to see what the outcome of the Chancellor’s decision will be.