Demand has surged for property since the government announced the temporary stamp duty holiday earlier this year. Many in the industry: estate agents, conveyancing solicitors, surveyors, and indeed ourselves have been extremely busy which is of course a great “problem” to have.
Ending on March 31st, 2021, the stamp duty holiday has clearly had the desired impact. Such a dramatic increase in activity is great, and the challenge we are now faced with is how to keep all these transactions moving along the proverbial conveyor belt, with most working from home to comply with coronavirus restrictions.
Many lenders are taking steps to reduce the number of applications coming in by raising interest rates for new lending. Halifax, TSB, Nationwide, NatWest, Barclays, and others have raised interest rates in the last month despite the Bank of England base rate remaining at the record low of 0.10%. Imagine! It is not unlike a builder’s outlandish quote for the difficult job he does not particularly want but will do for the right price.
In the last week, I have had a surveyor book their next available appointment for a site visit – in one month.
Metro Bank temporarily stopped accepting registration requests from new brokers wanting to submit business to them so they could deal with their backlog, others are quoting over a month turnaround for registrations. Several lenders are taking up to two weeks to take their first look at a submitted full mortgage application.
For buyers, the urgency is justified, the saving can be up to £15,000 and it has thus brought many people’s property plans forward.
To ensure the savings, it would certainly be advisable not to procrastinate. Efficiency in supplying necessary documentation and information will be key to ensure purchases are completed before the deadline as the already ambiguous expected timeframes are being pushed further and further out.