Property buyers undeterred by stamp duty holiday ending

There are now 704,000 property sales currently going through the conveyancing process across Great Britain, the highest over the past decade, according to the latest data out today from Rightmove.

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.

While there are many buyers who will be trying to make sure they meet the June deadline, new Rightmove research among buyers hoping to buy by this September in England has found that the stamp duty holiday is not the biggest motivator for moving.

Only 29% of this group said they expected to complete in time to make use of the stamp duty holiday. The most common reasons for moving are to move to a bigger home, if someone comes across the right property, relocating to the countryside or the coast, and moving to a home with a garden.

Of those who are expecting to make use of the stamp duty holiday, only 4% said they would abandon their plans completely if they missed either the June or September deadline. Over half (53%) said they would go ahead as planned, one in four (25%) said they would try to renegotiate with the seller, and 13% said they would plan to buy 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 that are over £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.

Tim Bannister

Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister said: “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 ten 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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  1. AlwaysAnAgent

    Cheap mortgages and savings that have been boosted by COVID restrictions means that buyers still have the means to keep buying. Properties are still affordable and buyers will keep buying them.

    Knight Frank published a report on global prices and it’s the same in a lot of countries. They said that prices were up 22.1 per cent in New Zealand, 16.6 per cent in Luxembourg, 13.2 per cent in the US, 13 per cent in Sweden, 10.8 per cent in Canada. The U.K. isn’t too bad in comparison. 

    1. Robert_May

      How will they? Local to me the builders are having  cement deliveries rationed to 1/6th of their normal levels. About 30% end of chains are into new builds, if builders can’t get cement they can’t build at their normal rate let alone  the accelerated rate.

      Even with S24 attempting to ease casual landlords out of BTL, income yields far out perform any other investment that’s providing  capital growth too. The additional tax is not enough of a penalty to consider freeing up BTL investments.


      The low interest rates that are driving demand are the reason property is  affordable to retain. The more asset prices are raised the less incentive there is to put them into the market and that creates a feeding frenzy. People can’t buy what isn’t on the market.


      If you artificially  remove or restrict  chain end sales  New-builds, BTL Estate sales etc it means the number of chains that can’t complete grows. Something has to give, other than interest rates rises I can’t figure out what it is going to be

      1. AlwaysAnAgent

        They are Robert, it isn’t subjective.
        You have been crying wolf over house prices and transactions for years and you have always been wrong.
        Any fool knows that the market operates in cycles and I suppose if you shout crash for 25 years eventually you will be proved right.

        1. Robert_May

          I am not crying wolf on anything  I am pointing out there isn’t currently the supply to meet to the demand and I can’t see where its coming from.
          Rather than just making an arbitary comment like that which is not correct a few people  on here will remember me discussing prices with  the likes of Sibleysbastardchild and  Japan Dave where when prices were below trend that prices wouldn’t crash but recover back to trend.
          You might not like anyone questioning how this might play out but with transactions 40% above normal levels and so many reason why low interest rate policies are exacerbating the housing crisis it is not unreasonable to  be debating what might happen.
           700,00 agreed sales is an indication there are about 200,000 too few properies to meet the demand created by low interest rates so rather than just dismissing the point how about  suggesting how this will resolve.

          1. AlwaysAnAgent

            Calm down Robert.
            You’re misquoting data and trying to claim that the last decade is “normal”. Transactions were higher pre-2007. 
            The average Bob on the street doesn’t care about cycles, or shortages, or data, they simply want to buy a home. If they can afford it, they will buy one. 

            1. Robert_May

              I am calm thank you,  but you a doggedly refusing to understrand  that if couples retain a flat   to AirBNB, if executors keep hold of an estate property,  if landlords aren’t  encouraged enough to release BTL to sale, if institutional investors keep snuffling up build to rent. transaction volumes will continue to fall.
              Believing everything that’s sale ageed just because Bob can afford it is going to complete and deliver a commission cheque is naive

      2. htsnom79

        We’ve had low interest rates for over a decade, why has the market gone bananas now?

        1. AlwaysAnAgent

          FOMO, gardens, space, lifestyle, not spending on holidays etc 

        2. Robert_May

          An exodus  from the cities to the countryside because of Covid  has driven our local market,  alot of people suddenly brought forward their plans to buy their  home in the country or by the sea. Where that would normally spread out over several years it  got concentrated into  summer last year when lockdown 1 was lifted.


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