Beware of Property Market Frenzy!

The end of the so-called Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday at the end of June has been driving the residential property market into a frenzy of activity but it is vital that both sellers and buyers try to keep things in perspective. 

We are already at the point where new buyers and sellers are going to find it very difficult indeed to get their transaction through by the end of June but, if they don’t, will it really matter?

The shortage of property to buy has almost certainly been caused, in part, by the problems that the sellers of these houses and flats are facing when they try to buy themselves and this shortage has helped to drive prices up in some areas to unsustainable levels.

The potential SDLT savings can be substantial but buyers need to consider whether these may be outweighed by the increased price that they are having to pay in order to secure a property. 

Further, for many people there is still some SDLT to pay so buyers must check carefully to see exactly how much they are actually saving.

A number of astute property owners who Guest Walker act for take the view that this is not the time to be in the market and that there is every likelihood that prices will level out or drop after the June 30th deadline and that buyers will be able to negotiate good deals that take into account the fact that they are having to pay SDLT at the full rate. 

Do also bear in mind that the end of June is not the absolute cut off for the SDLT holiday, which continues until the end of September for properties valued at between £125,000 and £250,000. 

The residential property department at Guest Walker is working at full capacity to meet clients’ expectations but there are only so many hours in the day and the usual factors that delay transactions are still there.  Getting a mortgage is taking time, searches in some areas are slow to come through and some conveyancing firms simply cannot cope with the sheer volume of work.  Always remember that a “chain” of transactions can only move at the speed of its weakest/slowest link and do give very serious thought to waiting until the frenzy (or is it hysteria?) subsides and the market returns to more normal times. 

John Walker