At Austin Property Services, we want to ensure you are fully informed about the housing market.
We appreciate the stamp duty holiday led to many people making a move in the market. At this point in time, the stamp duty holiday ends in March.
Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake has called for property taxes to change. He said: “These taxes are unfair, complicated and block aspiration. Unfair because the poorest find themselves hit hardest. Complicated because they are difficult to understand and command an intricate web of bureaucracy to administer. And they hinder aspiration by taxing property transactions and discouraging people from moving home.”
What do you hope to see in the 2021 housing market?
Jeremy Leaf, a former RICS residential chairman, said: “A relatively strong property market is likely to prevail even if the stamp duty deadline is maintained, albeit not at the same crazy pace of the last few months. This is mainly because so many people brought forward their moving decisions in order to take advantage of the concession.”
The housing market remained open during lockdown
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data, comments: “As we enter the new year and a new lockdown, the housing market remains open but is focused on the imminent end of the stamp duty holiday and on the challenges of the pandemic. These major influences on mover behaviour are clouding the 2021 outlook, but Rightmove’s early January market-leading indicators of buyer demand and the number of actual sales being agreed are looking robust, showing that there are many compelling reasons other than the stamp duty savings to make buyers enter the market in 2021.”
Tim Bannister continued by saying; “Both metrics are up substantially on the same eleven days of January a year ago, which itself was a brisk start to the year due to buyers reacting favourably to the certainty of a majority government. That certainty at the beginning of 2020 was replaced by nearly a year of pandemic uncertainty, though the major difference between the first lockdown and this one is that the housing market is open. Movers’ changed housing priorities due to the lockdown can therefore be more readily satisfied, though obviously estate agents will be carefully following government safety protocols, with more offering online viewings to help buyers to make shortlists and to cut down on the number of physical viewings that are taking place.”
The most recent analysis from Rightmove suggest it takes 126 days from an offer being accepted to the legal competition. This is just over four months. With the stamp duty holiday deadline still scheduled for the end of March, people who aren’t eligible for the first-time buyer saving need to budget for stamp duty costs.
The Rightmove analysis predicts that of the 613,000 property deals in the pipeline, around 100,000 deals will miss out on stamp duty savings. There might be a need for flexibility to ensure deals don’t fall through.