Agents should warn buyers that they ‘may likely miss the stamp duty deadline’

Thousands of property purchasers could miss the stamp duty deadline in June as the average time taken for properties to complete continues to increase. 

According to data from TwentyCI, the average time taken for properties to complete is up 6% when looking at the year-on-year figures of the top ten largest estate agency brands in the country.

Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, says that while the time taken for a new instruction to move to Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC) has decreased by 3%, the increase is driven by the longer time taken to move from SSTC to completion.

He said: “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% year-on year increase.

Iain McKenzie

“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.”

He explained 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 4%, lower than the average 6%.

McKenzie added: “On average, Guild Members are able to get a property Sold Subject to Contract around five days faster this year than last year, which equates to around a 7% decrease in the time taken. 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 3% slower, with the process taking around 189 days for Guild Members on average.”

He continued: “High demand continues to drive the housing market, with portals such as Zoopla reporting that average buyer demand since the start of this year is 13% higher than average levels across the whole of 2020. Rightmove has also reported that demand in March this year was 34% higher than in March 2020.

“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.”

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  1. AlwaysAnAgent

    “ Agents should be preparing buyers for the fact that they are may likely miss the stamp duty deadline at the end of June”. Isn’t this obvious or have I missed something? I guess it’s all part of their pointing out the obvious campaign. 


    In other news, the Guild would like to report that cars are made of metal, in the most part, and that they quite often have four wheels, but not always. Members are being warned to avoid stepping out on motorways in front of fast moving vehicles.

    1. A W

      Thank you for brightening up my day, I tip my hat to you good sir!

      1. Ding Dong

        and they say this is news….its like reading the Daily Star sometimes

  2. #ImpressiveConveyancing

    It hasn’t been happening in the thousands and thousands. Some agents superstars and they get it but so many others don’t.

    Not at any point, clients keep telling us that agents “say you solicitors will rush it through” – at all points in the last 12 months.

    Madness not to have managed the public expectation.

    There are more home movers than conveyancers on offer, so lawyers are doubling up so everyone gets moved. Conveyancing is double and sometimes triple the pre-pandemic pace.

    Get the message across – late in the day, but get it across! Please!



    1. singing agent

      There have been considerably less houses for sale here than pre-pandemic.  After over 30 years I am puzzled why a sale of a house (with no forward chain) has taken nearly 5 months to complete to first time buyers with a mortgage offer issued 3 months ago.

  3. scruffy

    And in breaking news, the Guild reports that pedestrian traffic over the past year to their Park Lane office was obviously limited due to the pandemic.

    A source added that it was about the same as pre-pandemic levels.


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