Two mortgage industry trade bodies have raised their concerns with HM Treasury that a large number of borrowers may not be able to meet the stamp duty holiday deadline on March 31.
The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries and the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association have suggested to the government a tapering of the stamp duty deadline to avoid transactions “failing at the last minute”.
The trade bodies have warned borrowers may miss the deadline, in part due to delays in obtaining searches, complex chains and the capacity impacts of firms operating in a Covid-safe environment.
Kate Davies, executive director at IMLA, said: “[Borrowers] who do miss [the stamp duty holiday deadline] will need to be aware of how much stamp duty they may be liable to pay – and have a plan for finding that cash.
“If they can’t – there is a risk that their sale may fall through – taking with it a number of other transactions if there is a chain.”
Ms Davies added: “We are asking all our members to work to increase post offer operational support, and our broker and conveyancer partners to assess their new business pipelines. This will ensure as many complete before any deadline.”
Robert Sinclair, chief executive at the AMI, said: “We are calling on lenders to ensure that their conveyancer partners have capacity to deal with the pipeline in front of them.
“I would like all lenders, brokers and conveyancers to assess their pipelines and operational capacity between now and the end of March and give a realistic assessment to their customers of the likely outcomes.”
Both trade bodies have cautioned that the stamp duty holiday deadline was already causing “significant congestion” in the housing market, and that it was now likely that many cases will not complete before March 31.
The Guild of Property Professionals has also asked its network of estate agents and potential buyers to write to their local MPs to push for an extension to the deadline.
Online mortgage broker Trussle has warned potential property buyers to budget for stamp duty in the event they miss the deadline.
Buyers who miss the stamp duty holiday deadline could find themselves having to fork out up to an additional £15,000.
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