Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s property expert, commented on this: “This three-month extension will come as a huge relief for those people who have been going through the sales process since last year and were always expecting to make use of the stamp duty savings. Our recent data shows one in five sales that were agreed in the same month the stamp duty holiday was first announced in July last year still haven’t completed, so this additional time will make a big difference to help those stuck in the logjam complete their purchase in time before the new end of June deadline.
“Buyers who have recently agreed a sale now have a race on their hands to see if they can also make use of the stamp duty savings, but many with purchases over £250,000 will find that time is too tight to complete before the end of June and so shouldn’t be factoring this into their purchase. It’s worth remembering that the average savings vary massively around England, and first-time buyers will still be exempt if they’re buying for £300,000 or less.
“There are also many other reasons people are choosing to move, evidenced by the strong buyer demand Rightmove has already seen in the first two months of the year.”
Tim also made the following observations on the mortgage guarantee announcement: “We’ve heard from so many first-time buyers over the past year of their challenges to raise a 15 percent or 20 percent deposit, with a number saying they had to put their plans on hold, so the availability of five percent deposits will really help this all-important market sector. It could help some buyers bring their plans forward, especially if they managed to save more than they were expecting to while in the various lockdowns.
“It’s also a helping hand to people who have been struggling to trade up because of the much bigger deposit needed. Right now there are not enough properties coming to market to satisfy the increased buyer demand that this scheme will likely bring, so if more people do choose to trade up this could help open up more choice at the start of the property ladder.