51 days and counting: Buy-to-let investors rushing to get ahead of deadline

Demand for property jumped after the Chancellor announced the 3% Stamp Duty surcharge for buyers of second homes, including buy-to-let investors.

The RICS this morning reported that its members are citing a rush to beat the April 1 deadline, when the surcharge kicks in.

The survey also predicts that house prices in London, the south east and East Anglia look set to surge by 5% per annual in each of the next five years, compared with a UK average of 4.5%.

Conveyancers are also reporting increased workloads because of the April 1 deadline.

However, the deadline could be threatened by the amount of time searches are taking in some places.

Andrew Stenning, managing director of property search firm Searches UK, told EYE: “We are currently seeing a very active conveyancing market.

“Searches for purchase transactions are currently taking an average of 7-10 working days, but this does depend on the area where the searches are being carried out, as some of the local authorities are experiencing a backlog.

“This is having a knock-on effect on us and other search providers being able to deliver reports in a timelier manner.”

There are now just 51 working days for properties to be completed before April 1, taking into account the Easter break with bank holidays very close to that deadline, on March 25 and 28.


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