Making the most of property incentives? Don’t wait!

Time is running out for those who are planning to purchase new properties and take advantage of the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) reductions applicable until the end of March 2021. 

If you’re thinking of purchasing a new property, don’t fall into the trap of thinking time is on your side. Remember, property transactions can take longer than expected, particularly if there is a chain with surveys and finance to be arranged. Also, given the current climate, there could be other delays due to social distancing and other restrictions, such as staggered working times, which may impact the overall timeline.

On average, before Covid-19, it took 79 days from the marketing of a property to finding a buyer. The total time from listing a property to moving in can now take up to 187 days on average.

In order to qualify for the SDLT reduction, transactions must complete before 31st March 2021.  Going by these averages your property should have been on the market by the end of last month. Suddenly, it seems there is no time at all.

Whilst some transactions will take less time than this, it is always worth planning ahead. Timescales are important to everyone and there are a few things home movers can do to help speed up the process. For example, make sure you instruct your conveyancer as soon as possible and ask them to review all information about the property, as this could potentially help to flag any issues, such as lease terms, as early on in the process as possible.

We would also recommend that you should get your mortgage decision in principle ahead of putting in an offer. With the current pandemic, we are hearing more and more cases of delays when it comes to obtaining a mortgage.

If you are considering making the most of the reduction in SDLT, then don’t delay. Contact the property team at Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.

Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor


Tel: +44 (0) 1483 411518

Office: Godalming Office