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With the deadline for the stamp duty holiday looming, the demand to get sales across the line in time has created a huge bottleneck of work for all those involved in the conveyancing chain.
We have heard of solicitors advising they cannot take on any more work due to being at breaking point.
As a result, there has been an enormous increase in costs to the buyer created by the huge demand over supply.
Homeowners have saved on average £11,566 in stamp duty since the holiday was introduced last July. According to Halifax, the rush to get a property completed by 30th June 2021 has led to a huge workload for conveyancing firms and a massive hike in fees. However, buyers seem to be prepared to pay to ensure their sale is top of the list and will make the deadline.
A client of ours told us they phoned 29 removal firms and were quoted four times the normal price for moving house at the end of this month, but had no choice but to accept it!
Many removal firms are not accepting work unless exchange has already taken place. This has led to disreputable firms cashing in on the demand. There is no requirement for firms to be registered with the British Association of Removers (BAR).
Effectively anybody with a van can call themselves a remover but such companies often have no insurance. They are also likely to leave you high and dry if they get an offer for a more lucrative job; not to mention the risk of damage and stolen goods!
Surveyors are similarly charging any fee they choose for full building surveys. Mortgages are also taking longer from ‘in principle’ to ‘formal’ offer.
Whilst this demand will start to correct itself after the end of June, the pressure to move things along quickly has resulted in the whole process of buying a property taking less time than a year ago. According to Hamptons International, it is taking 92 days from an offer being accepted to exchange of contracts; whereas last summer it was taking nearly six weeks longer. Hopefully, this will remain the timescale even after the stamp duty deadline passes.
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Granite Building Warranties Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Richdale Brokers & Financial Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Granite Building Warranties is a company registered in England and Wales (Company Number 11497543) with its registered office at 1st Floor, 5 Century Court, Tolpits Lane, Watford, WD18 9PX.”