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Stamp Duty: Agents told to warn vendors they may miss deadline

An analysis of the average time taken for properties from 10 leading estate agency brands to complete shows a significant increase over the past year. 

As a result agents are being advised to be upfront with warnings to vendors and buyers that they may miss the next stamp duty deadline.

Data from TwentyCi shows that it now takes six per cent longer to complete than in April 2020. 

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Iain McKenzie, chief executive of The Guild of Property Professionals, says that while the time taken for a new instruction to move to Sold Subject to Contract has actually decreased by three per cent, the increase is driven by the longer time taken to move from SSTC to completion. 

“Last year it was taking around 78 days for a new instruction to move to SSTC, while this year that number has come down to 76 days with homes selling slightly faster. However, the time taken for the sale to then complete has increased from 106 days to 121 days, which equates to a 12 per cent year-on year increase. 

“On average, the total time taken for a new instruction to go through the entire process and complete has increased from 184 days to 197 days (6%). This increase will once again put pressure on buyers who hoping to meet the new Stamp Duty Holiday deadline at the end of June” says McKenzie.

He adds that comparatively, when looking at TwentiCI data on The Guild network, the average time taken to move from new instruction to completion has increased by four per cent, slightly lower than the average six per cent. 

But he adds: “However, as with the rest of the industry, the network is having to deal with delays and the increased time it is taking for the transaction to move through the conveyancing process. That said, because it is taking fewer days to get the property sold, the total time for a new listing to move to completion is just three per cent slower, with the process taking around 189 days for Guild members on average.”

He also warns that as spring gets under way, more transactions will be moving through the process as we head towards the stamp duty cut off. 

“This increase in demand has resulted in agents finding buyers for listings in less time, but as the number of transactions increase, the timescale to completion is also likely to continue to increase, at least for the near future. Agents should be preparing buyers for the fact that they are may likely miss the stamp duty deadline at the end of June” McKenzie concludes.

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