The stamp duty holiday is ending

When Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a stamp duty (SDLT) holiday on the first £500,000 of the price of a new home back in July, it triggered a surge in buyer demand and saw asking prices hit great highs, particularly in the south of England.

Rightmove recently revealed that average asking prices, which have now reached an all-time high of £323,530, are now almost £17,00 higher than this time last year. That means there’s up to £15,000 in savings to be made during the stamp duty holiday – but that holiday will come to an end on 31st March 2021.

Since purchases can take around three to five months to complete, the time to start putting plans into practice is now…

Help to Buy is changing

The Help to Buy initiative has seen thousands of people realise their dream of home ownership with more than 270,000 property sales completing since the scheme began in April 2013.

However, on 1st April 2021, a new Help to Buy scheme will come into effect and will run until March 2023. Although the current scheme was extended to allow new homes to be finished after delays caused by coronavirus, there are no plans for the 2021 changes to be pushed back.

From this date, the scheme will be restricted to first-time buyers only and regional price caps will apply. Again, given the often-lengthy purchasing process, we’re advising all buyers relying on Help to Buy to act fast to avoid missing out.

The challenges of COVID-19

Moving to a new house can be stressful enough – when you factor in the pressure of a Christmas move, it’s critical to nail down timescales and confirm moving dates well in advance with those in the chain and your removals company.

Add a global pandemic to the mix and it’s easy to see why Christmas 2020 is going to be a particularly challenging season to move home. As we’ve come to learn from COVID-19, even the best laid plans can go awry. Even in the midst of the spring lockdown, the UK Government has been keen to get all those involved in the buying, selling and renting process to moving – and that will apply to all tiers in the new local alert levels.

Our advice: plan ahead, stay flexible and be prepared to delay a move if anyone in the chain becomes ill or has to self-isolate.

Need more information?

If you’d like to know more about how to prepare for a Christmas move, please contact our Sales team at the Park on 023 8001 1620 and arrange a meeting or an unaccompanied viewing. Read more on our latest advice surrounding COVID-19.

For further information about the stamp duty holiday, please click here and for more details about the Help to Buy changes, click here

The Government has also updated its advice on moving home during the coronavirus outbreak – please click here to get the latest information.