Stamp Duty  

New homebuyers unlikely to meet June deadline, broker warns

New homebuyers unlikely to meet June deadline, broker warns
 Credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Mortgage broker Trussle has warned homebuyers starting a new purchase now are unlikely to meet the June deadline for the stamp duty holiday.

According to the online broker, the time to complete on a property took 163 days on average, based on the average signup-to-completion time over the last 90 days at Trussle.

Miles Robinson, head of mortgages at Trussle, said some buyers could secure a mortgage offer in three working days, but he warned: “[Other] stages of the house buying process aren’t moving as quickly.

“Conveyancers and surveyors are facing extreme delays. Waiting times for land searches in certain areas of the country are very long due to a backlog of cases. This means that time to complete on a property in the UK now takes on average 163 days.”

Beth Rudolf, director of delivery at the Conveyancing Association, said: “[The] issuing of mortgage instructions to the conveyancer takes, on average, 45 days and dealing with post-valuation queries takes 21 days where the valuer has not had the right information, and is valuing on assumptions like local authority consents for alterations and remaining lease terms.

“The issue at the moment is that conveyancers are still working on 50 per cent more cases than normal with CA member firms saying their instructions are up 130 per cent on average.”

While Rudolf added the industry was working on solutions to reduce the timeframe, she also said: “[With] that much extra work plus the delays created via lockdown transactions we are currently up to 22 weeks on average to complete.”

Trussle’s Robinson warned those starting a new house purchase now were unlikely to make the June deadline, but that they may still be able to take advantage of the lower stamp duty threshold of £250,000.

In the Budget chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a three-month extension to the stamp duty holiday until June 30. The nil rate band, currently set at £500,000, will then be set at £250,000 until the end of September, before returning to £125,000.

According to Trussle, mortgage approval times also depended on where in England homebuyers were looking to purchase.

Its data showed approval times in the South East took the longest at 13 days, compared to Yorkshire and the Humber at 7 days.

chloe.cheung@ft.com

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