What you need to know about the market this month

Homes are taking longer to sell at the moment because of delays in the process, with our latest data showing there are a massive 613,000 properties trying to reach completion.

The temporary stamp duty holiday that came on 8th July last year is due to end on 31st March, so we’ve put together some advice if you’re just starting out or if you’re in the middle of a move right now.

How long is the process taking?

The latest study from our data analysts shows that it is now taking 126 days from the time an offer is accepted until legal completion, which is just over four months.

If you’ve just put your home on the market, the average time from advertising a home until it has an offer is accepted is 57 days, so on average the total process is around 26 weeks.

But remember these are averages, and it will depend on a number of things such as if you’re a cash buyer and so can move more quickly, if you’re in a chain, and how long your local searches will take.

If you’re starting out the year looking for a home, we’d advise that you don’t factor in any stamp duty savings from the temporary holiday, unless you’re a first-time buyer and are buying a home for £300,000 or less.

What if I’ve already factored in stamp duty savings?

We estimate that based on the current situation, around 100,000 sales going through are going to miss out on the stamp duty savings.

If you think you’re in danger of falling into this group, speak early to your estate agent and ask for their advice on making sure the sale doesn’t fall through, as it may be possible to re-negotiate with the seller.

Is the market busy?

The good news for sellers is that buyer activity is even higher than it was a year ago, and last January was particularly strong because the market had some post-election certainty of a majority government.

Many people have reassessed their housing priorities following their experience of lockdown, and with another long lockdown upon us, there are early signs that we are surpassing 2020’s new-year surge in activity.

The number of prospective buyers contacting agents between 2nd and 12th January was up by 12% and sales agreed numbers were up by 9% on the comparable period last year.

Visits to our site have also continued to increase since the start of January, and are up by 33% on the same period in 2020.

Homes are taking longer to sell at the moment because of delays in the process, with our latest data showing there are a massive 613,000 properties trying to reach completion.

The temporary stamp duty holiday that came on 8th July last year is due to end on 31st March, so we’ve put together some advice if you’re just starting out or if you’re in the middle of a move right now.

How long is the process taking?

The latest study from our data analysts shows that it is now taking 126 days from the time an offer is accepted until legal completion, which is just over four months.

If you’ve just put your home on the market, the average time from advertising a home until it has an offer is accepted is 57 days, so on average the total process is around 26 weeks.

But remember these are averages, and it will depend on a number of things such as if you’re a cash buyer and so can move more quickly, if you’re in a chain, and how long your local searches will take.

If you’re starting out the year looking for a home, we’d advise that you don’t factor in any stamp duty savings from the temporary holiday, unless you’re a first-time buyer and are buying a home for £300,000 or less.

What if I’ve already factored in stamp duty savings?

We estimate that based on the current situation, around 100,000 sales going through are going to miss out on the stamp duty savings.

If you think you’re in danger of falling into this group, speak early to your estate agent and ask for their advice on making sure the sale doesn’t fall through, as it may be possible to re-negotiate with the seller.

Is the market busy?

The good news for sellers is that buyer activity is even higher than it was a year ago, and last January was particularly strong because the market had some post-election certainty of a majority government.

Many people have reassessed their housing priorities following their experience of lockdown, and with another long lockdown upon us, there are early signs that we are surpassing 2020’s new-year surge in activity.

The number of prospective buyers contacting agents between 2nd and 12th January was up by 12% and sales agreed numbers were up by 9% on the comparable period last year.

Visits to our site have also continued to increase since the start of January, and are up by 33% on the same period in 2020.

What do the experts say?

Our resident property data expert Tim Bannister explained that the housing market is in the midst of a processing logjam, with some home-movers likely to miss out on their stamp duty savings.

He said: “As we enter the new year and a new lockdown, the housing market remains open but is focused on the imminent end of the stamp duty holiday and on the challenges of the pandemic.

While the tax savings were an added incentive, movers’ desire for more inside and outside space seems to be continuing, and this new lockdown could be a spur to act in 2021 for those who can and who did not do so in 2020.

“However, there are still a huge number of sales agreed in 2020 that are stuck in the processing logjam and awaiting legal completion, with many hoping to beat the impending tax deadline. 

“For those who fail to do so, there may be difficulties if they have factored the tax savings into their budget calculations.

“The challenge of processing so many transactions in less than three months is made even tougher by the new lockdown restrictions, Covid-19 sickness and home-schooling further reducing capacity in conveyancing, legal searches and mortgage lending.”

Thanks for reading

Bayzos team

Source: Rightmove

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