Those who want to move home and avoid paying thousands of pounds in stamp duty need to begin their search as soon as possible, property experts are warning.
The Government’s stamp duty holiday expires at the end of March next year, but the average property purchase is currently taking four months to complete.
Buyers are being strongly advised to act now or risk missing the opportunity to make a big saving.
Warning: Buyers are being strongly advised to act now or risk missing the opportunity to make a big saving
Kevin Roberts, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, which works with brokers to provide home loans, says: ‘Those wishing to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday need to plan carefully to avoid missing the deadline, particularly if they have their own property to sell first.
‘Buyers should speak to a mortgage adviser who will help them navigate the drawn-out process.’
Anyone completing a purchase on their main home before the March deadline does not have to pay tax on property values up to £500,000 – a saving of as much as £15,000.
If a property is more expensive, homebuyers will only have to pay stamp duty on the value above that threshold.
Ian Larkin, chief executive at online mortgage broker Trussle, says: ‘Time is running out. If buyers nearly get to the finish line but miss the deadline they could be left with an additional unexpected cost. We’ll see chaos among property chains.’
Trussle says there are regional differences when it comes to the likelihood of beating the deadline. It suggests buyers in the South East – excluding London – South West, West Midlands, Yorkshire and the North East need to apply for a mortgage no later than next month. Those purchasing in London should apply as soon as possible.
Buyers in the East Midlands and East of England are thought to be at the greatest risk of missing the deadline.