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Broker warns buyers to budget for stamp duty

Broker warns buyers to budget for stamp duty
 Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Potential property buyers should budget for stamp duty in the event they miss the March 31 deadline for the tax holiday, Trussle has warned.

The broker’s head of mortgages, Miles Robinson, urged buyers not to delay their mortgage application if they want to benefit from the stamp duty holiday.

He added: “We must also advise that those looking to buy a new home should make sure they budget enough to pay the stamp duty land tax, just in case the purchase does not complete before the deadline.”

The broker has calculated that it currently takes a median of 115 days from starting a mortgage application to completing a property purchase.

It added the average time from mortgage submission to approval had risen by 50 per cent year-on-year to 24 days as a result of the pandemic.

According to data from Trussle, the average completion time varies across the country, with a median of 96 days in the South East and 166 days in the East Midlands.

Mr Robinson commented: “[Some] regions, like the East Midlands, have suffered from stricter lockdown restrictions which may have prevented valuations and surveys from taking place.

“Transactions in more highly populated areas can also take longer to get over the line. In London, for example, there are many flats and leasehold properties which tend to take more time when it comes to a sale due to the legal requirements and paperwork involved.”

Median number of days to complete in regions

RegionAverage number of days to complete
East Midlands166
East of England157
London149
North West128
West Midlands120
Yorkshire & Humber115
South West111
North East111
South East96
Source: Data based on how long it took Trussle customers to go from signing up on the broker's website to completing their property purchase over 90 days up until October 21.

The broker also calculated the average time from application to completion for different property types, at 120 days for a flat, 118 days for a detached or terraced house, and 108 days for a semi-detached property.

It comes as surveying and valuations firm SDL Surveying announced that it was continuing to recruit surveyors to grow capacity after the firm saw its “busiest month ever” in October for volumes completed and revenue generated.

Simon Jackson, managing director of SDL Surveying, said: “We’re already aware of advisers, lenders and conveyancers making clients aware that there are no guarantees their case will complete before the current [stamp duty holiday] deadline, and clearly as time moves on, that has to be an active consideration for all parties.”

chloe.cheung@ft.com

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