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Fall-through rate “supercharged by stamp duty deadline” - claim

The already-high fall-through rate for transactions is likely to be supercharged by the impending end of the tapered stamp duty holiday in late September - and agents need a Plan B to cope.

That’s the view of chain breaking service HBB Solutions which says fall throughs and chain breakdowns will remain dangers up to the very end of the holiday on September 30. 

HBB argues that, while the end date has been known for many months, there is still likely to be a spike in fall-throughs as the end date nears and immediately after it.  

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“It seems inevitable that many people going through the process now will miss out by not completing in time. There is the continuing impact of Covid self-isolation to factor in, which could hamper the ability of firms to progress sales. We’ve certainly seen there are still delays with surveys, searches and conveyancing due to staff shortages and high demand” according to HBB managing director Chris Hodgkinson.

He adds: “Although many will have factored in the possibility of not receiving those savings, even if their transaction has been in the pipeline for some time, there may be others relying on the savings who will feel the need to withdraw or rethink if they can’t secure them in time.” 

Zoopla is predicting 1.52m house sales this calendar year, and Savills goes further and anticipate 1.6m at least - both hugely above recent norms. 

“There is likely to be more of a regional element to the stamp duty rush before the end of the September, given the lower cap at play. While London and the South East has already started to see transactions ease off a little, even as prices remain high due to shortage of supply, the second stamp duty surge could be more concentrated in the Midlands, the North East, the North West and Wales, where properties are generally more affordable.” 

Hodgkinson says fall-throughs shouldn’t just be accepted as the norm as agents can call upon chain repair experts to minimise the number of disappointed buyers and sellers.

“By preparing now, a few months ahead of the deadline, agents can be in the best possible position to offer solutions if the worst comes to the worst with a portion of transactions,” Hodgkinson concludes.  

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