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Stamp Duty Deadline: it’s too late for most buyers - warning

A consumer financial service suggests it’s already too late for most buyers to meet the latest stamp duty holiday deadline of June 30.

It’s 70 days until the deadline but it now takes the average first time buyer 99 days to complete, while existing owners moving home take a typical 88 days to complete.

The stamp duty holiday scheme was originally scheduled to come to an end in March but was extended at its current £500,000 threshold until June 30.

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The extension has proved popular: according to MoneySuperMarket nearly two thirds of buyers are in the market as a result of the scheme: 25 to 34 year olds are the most likely to take advantage of it, with 71 per cent having bought a home or claiming that they intend to do so as a result of its introduction.

The same research also reveals an increase in the number of 95 per cent Loan To Value mortgages on the market.

Some 70 deals are currently available, up from 12 at the start of the year – a 483 per cent rise - though still down substantially on the 214 deals that were available to home buyers in January 2020.

The government’s launch of its 95 per cent mortgage scheme on Monday received a favourable response with many large lenders announcing they would be releasing new products this week or early next month. Interest in the scheme has also been matched by consumers with MoneySuperMarket seeing a 71 per cent uplift in enquiries for first-time buyer 95 per cent mortgages in the seven days between April 12 and April 19 when the announcement was made.

Jo Thornhill, finance expert at MoneySuperMarket, says: “The stamp duty holiday extension has been hugely popular but those seeking to take advantage of it better hurry with the deadline now only 10 weeks away. With the average home purchase taking 77 days to complete, many will be cutting it fine. However, if you’re chain free and have only just started looking, you should still have enough time if you act now.

“While we welcome the government’s moves, there remains a long way to go if we’re going to see a reduction in the challenges that exist for first time buyers. We’d like the government to think about long term solutions for making home ownership a reality ... particularly those who think it is out of their reach.”

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