Tempted by the stamp duty holiday? You’re not alone. This temporary tax break means that almost 9 out of 10 property transactions are no longer subject to stamp duty, with the average bill falling by £4,500. But as lenders raise their buy-to-let rates and the property market struggles to operate efficiently under COVID conditions, online broker Property Master has advised any landlords hoping to take advantage of the current stamp duty holiday to get moving…
A brief round up of what the stamp duty holiday is all about
The stamp duty holiday was announced back in July at the economic update, as part of a set of measures aimed at delivering a much needed boost to the housing market. The Chancellor raised the threshold at which home buyers have to start paying stamp duty with immediate effect, from £125,000 to £500,000, in the UK and NI.
This means that buyers can save up to £15,000 on a home that costs £500,000 or more. But if you are hoping to take advantage of this potential saving before it ends on 31st March 2021, then you’d better get moving…
Major Disruption Predicted by Property Master
With major lenders such as Barclays and NatWest having recently announced big price increases on their buy-to-let mortgage ranges, Angus Stewart, Chief Executive of Property Master says that buy-to-let landlords are now facing a race against the clock as the property market also witnesses an increase in processing, holding and response times.
“Whilst we have seen price increases and product withdrawals before as lenders seek to manage the demand caused by the stamp duty cut, these new rises suggest lenders may now also be concerned about the worsening economic situation.
As well as price rises, we are seeing severe delays generally with lenders sometimes taking weeks to respond to enquiries. There is a similar story with many solicitors. We have to remember with employees working from home and in some cases self-isolating – the property market generally is struggling to keep up with demand. If these delays continue, completing house purchases in time for the end of the stamp duty cut in March is going to be a race against time for many landlords.
More worryingly still we are seeing is valuers undervaluing properties and, in some instances, returning a ‘£0’ valuation on properties that we would not have expected to present a problem. We have even seen this happen on properties that we know would have been acceptable to the lender but when we’ve stepped in and challenged the valuer’s decision the lender has been unwilling to overturn what the valuer has said.”
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