The Current Housing Market
By Bruce Scobie
It will not have escaped anybody’s notice that the market for the buying and selling of houses is extraordinarily busy at the moment. A number of reasons have been given, including people wanting to move into the country and pent-up energy after full lockdown. These may have had a small influence but I believe the driver here is the reduction of Stamp Duty Land Tax, which is due to end at the end of March 2021. The effect of this is that there are savings for most, and, in particular, any purchaser of a property over £500,000 will inevitably save £15,000 which is not to be sniffed at. The consequence has been that anybody who had any thoughts about selling or buying houses or flats in the next few months or years is doing so now, to make a saving.
The result is that the system is creaking. Us conveyancing lawyers are extraordinarily busy, which has not been helped, I would say, by the inevitable slight reduction in efficiency caused by people working from home. Mortgages are taking longer, searches are taking longer, and surveys often take months to take place. This is all against the backdrop of people feverishly trying to do everything quickly because they are concerned about the upcoming deadline for the end of the concession.
We, as a firm, are keeping on top of things but only because of enormous efforts by everybody in the conveyancing department. Our technology has held up well so I hope we are working near to normal efficient rates, despite the volume of work.