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Fewer than a third of buyers expect to make stamp duty deadline

There are over 700,000 homes marked Sold Subject to Contract and going through conveyancing right now, according to a new Rightmove analysis.

This is the highest number that the portal has recorded over the past ten years and it’s 78 per cent higher than two years ago.

At the start of the year the sales pipeline across Great Britain stood at 613,000 but the frenzied marketed over the past few months had led to homes being marked as sale agreed at a quicker rate than they are completing.


In a survey by Rightmove, only 29 per cent of buyers who were asked, said they expected to complete in time to make use of the stamp duty holiday. 

Of those who said it key to achieve the saving, four per cent said they would abandon their plans completely if they missed either the June or September deadline. 

Just over half said they would go ahead as planned, one in four said they would try to renegotiate with the seller, and 13 per cent said they would try to find a cheaper home.

Of the 704,000 sales going through, 220,000 were marked as Sold Subject to Contract between July last year and the end of February this year in England and are yet to complete. 

The current average time from sale agreed to completion is four months.

Of the 220,000 there are 131,000 priced above £250,000, making this group in most urgent need to get their sale over the line before the end of June when the stamp duty holiday drops from properties worth £500,000 or below to £250,000 or below in England.

Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister says: “The easing of restrictions, extended stamp duty holiday, better mortgage availability for first-time buyers, race for space and relocation plans have all combined to create the biggest conveyancing logjam we’ve ever recorded over the past 10 years.

“We really hope those who had at least four months to make it through to completion will make it in time to beat the first stamp duty deadline, but with the tapering until September many will still make some savings so all will not be lost. 

“The pace of properties coming on and off the market is also the quickest we’ve recorded, and agents are telling me they have multiple viewings followed by a number of offers within days of a property first appearing on Rightmove. 

“At the start of this year we had anticipated a quieter second quarter of the year, but buyer demand and the pipeline has continued at pace, making it an incredibly busy time for agents and conveyancers in many areas right now.”


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