Finance News

Number of collapsed sales soars as stamp duty deadline approaches

Rozi Jones
|
12th January 2021
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"These statistics are shocking, if not wholly surprising, when you consider how many people are trying to take advantage of a scheme that is rapidly approaching its end."

New figures from Rightmove show that the percentage of agreed house sales that collapsed rose from 17% in July 2020 to 28% in December.

Analysing the data, Cornerstone Tax says major delays and a turbulent economic climate brought about by the pandemic have "evidently posed a significant problem for house-buyers", with over a quarter of house sales now falling through.

With the end of the stamp duty holiday approaching, buyers are now under more pressure to complete their deals before March 31st.

As a result, many commentators are calling for the stamp duty holiday to be extended to alleviate pressure on the housing market and to give buyers the time and security they need to complete purchases.

David Hannah, principle consultant and founder of Cornerstone Tax, said: “These statistics are shocking, if not wholly surprising, when you consider how many people are trying to take advantage of a scheme that is rapidly approaching its end. This kind of hard deadline was bound to lead to this kind of bottle neck and demand is sure to fall considerably when it passes. In any market consistency and certainty is key to overall stability and growth. Growth so far has come from artificially inflated demand but does not look long-term.

"Now with the end of the stamp duty holiday imminent, home-buyers across the country are desperate to complete the conveyancing process, lest they pay thousands more for their new properties. This has resulted in a logistical nightmare for the housing market, and will likely result in many more deals falling through.

"A cliff-edge end to the stamp duty holiday is simply inviting a catastrophe, as buyers and sellers alike will realise they will likely miss the deadline and withdraw from the deal. Not only this, but many buyers will miss out on the deadline and will then simply be unable to afford a move."

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