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The stamp duty holiday, it’s about putting it into perspective

January 13, 2021Categories: BuyingTags: stamp duty, buying
The stamp duty holiday, it’s about putting it into perspective

As the stamp duty holiday deadline fast approaches some buyers, who are in the midst of a house purchase, may start worrying that they will run out of time to benefit from the tax savings on offer and may be considering withdrawing from their purchase. At Your Move, however, we believe it’s important to put things into perspective – remembering that stamp duty shouldn’t be your only consideration. Here’s why.

There could be more to lose

Whilst there will be some stamp duty savings to be made if you complete your purchase before March 31st 2021 (the stamp duty deadline), it’s important to remember that you’ve probably already invested a lot of money in your purchase which, if you do withdraw, has effectively ‘led to nothing’.

Consider fees you’ve already incurred for your solicitor and for surveys (and possible searches), never mind about the time, effort and emotional investment you’ve put in to view and find that property. Ask yourself if the stamp duty savings really outweigh these?

You may miss out on your dream home

When you see a property you want to buy it can be hard to settle for anything else and whilst you might think that ‘another will come along’ if you decide to withdraw there are risks involved. With the market remaining very active there’s strong buyer demand so you may face increased competition for a property in the future and have to accept that you might not get exactly what you want. It’s whether you’re prepared to accept this.

House prices may have risen

As reported by the property portal, Zoopla(*), house prices have increased as a result of continued demand for property so, whilst the property you are currently looking to buy has everything you want, you might find you have to pay more for these features in the future or even settle for less in a property.

Is your mortgage going to stand the test of time?

Most mortgage offers are only available for a set amount of time. Withdrawing from a house purchase might mean you have to renegotiate your mortgage or even find a new lender – incurring additional mortgage fees as well as potential delays. If your personal circumstances have changed, perhaps because of the current crisis, it might also mean that you are more restricted in the choice of the products that are available to you or even face difficulty in finding one within your budget. Is withdrawing from your existing purchase really worth it?

The next step

The stamp duty holiday has no doubt been welcomed by many buyers and it will be disappointing if you are unable to benefit from it because you can’t complete your purchase before the 31 March deadline but, to withdraw at a late stage, might bring more regrets in the longer term. Overall think carefully before you withdraw from any potential purchase because, at the moment, no-one knows what the true impact of that might be.

(*) Zoopla House Price Index Report – November 2020