Demand softens as buyers put transactions on ice

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, says:

“This latest data shows activity in the property market started to level off ahead of the end of the initial Stamp Duty holiday.

“The slide in property prices has been partly driven by buyers putting transactions on ice until greater certainty over whether the SDLT holiday would be extended in March’s Budget.

“In the medium term, the lower threshold is likely to have a diminished impact on property prices compared to the initial Stamp Duty holiday. A large proportion of buyers already took advantage of the financial benefits on offer when the holiday was first introduced in July 2020 by pushing ahead with discretionary moves, while other homebuyers frantically rushed to complete before the first 31 March deadline.

“To ensure that transactions are completed before the next cut off point, the industry needs to think seriously about solutions to tackle the current backlog. A key part of this will be solving the heavy workloads that most Conveyancers are having to shoulder due to the property market running hot.

“Providing Conveyancers with instant access to property data upfront will enable lawyers to conduct due diligence at speed. We have seen some advancements in the digitisation of data, with Stockport being the latest local authority to add more data layers to their online system, but more needs to be done. It is time for private and public bodies to come together, increase the productivity levels in the property market and get more people into their dream homes before the next cut-off date.”

Sources:

1Nationwide: HPI, March 2021

This article was submitted to be published by Search Acumen as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Conveyancer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Conveyancer.

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