Thousands of potential homebuyers could miss the stamp duty holiday deadline according to Rob Houghton, chief executive of reallymoving.
He said: “Thousands of homebuyers up and down the country are facing the prospect of missing out on the stamp duty holiday if their purchase doesn’t complete by 31 March.”
Houghton believes that there will be a “rapid worsening of the current bottleneck in the conveyancing process” as everyone rushes to complete by the deadline.
Hackney buyers unable to complete local authority searches before March 31
The high volume of demand will result in many transactions inevitably delayed as solicitors struggle to cope.
Houghton said: “This will cost buyers thousands in stamp duty they haven’t budgeted for, in many cases making the move unaffordable and causing chains to break down.”
Houghton points to the importance of the housing market in keeping the economy moving the last few months, which he believes is increasingly important with unemployment rising and economic growth in decline.
He said: “When someone moves house it’s not just the estate agent who gets paid – it’s also the solicitor, the financial advisor, the surveyor, the removals firm and often the cleaner, the electrician, the furniture shop and so on.
“There’s very little else that promotes spending in such a far-reaching way.”
Furthermore, Houghton believes that coinciding the end of the stamp duty holiday with the end of the current furlough scheme could have a serious impact on the economy.
He added: “Extending the holiday would have helped support the housing market, promote economic activity and preserve people’s financial security at a critical time.”