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West Hampstead October 26, 2020
     

West Hampstead Homebuyers Have Saved £1,045,850 Thanks to the Stamp Duty Holiday – Yet Many Could Miss Out

West Hampstead homebuyers and West Hampstead landlords purchasing residential property have saved £1,045,850 since the Chancellor reduced stamp duty on 8th July 2020, yet many more West Hampstead homebuyers could miss out.

My analysis of properties sold in West Hampstead from the Land Registry between the introduction of the stamp duty holiday on 8th July 2020 and 14th August 2020 (which is the most up to date sales data), reveals that many West Hampstead homeowners have saved a considerable amount of money in stamp duty. According to my research… 

since the stamp duty holiday was launched, 25 West Hampstead

homeowners have saved on average £41,834 each.

That’s a total West Hampstead property value of £25,916,910.

Mind you, it’s not all good news as I estimate 55 West Hampstead homebuyers risk missing out on stamp duty savings (worth as much as £15,000 each) due to solicitors/conveyancers and mortgage lenders struggling with demand and failing to hit the 31st March 2021 deadline.

The short-term tax relief, together with the easing of lockdown restrictions, has seen demand for West Hampstead property soar this summer as West Hampstead property buyers race to move home.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak introduced a stamp duty holiday in the summer, with the stamp duty holiday due to end on 31st March 2021. Yet, I fear the combined pent-up demand caused by… 

 - the post Boris Bounce 

 - people wanting to leave the metropolitan city centres for homes in the countryside

 - property with gardens 

 - property with extra rooms for working from home 

 - and the stamp duty savings

…has created a certain amount of constipation and backlog in the West Hampstead property market. 

I know 31st March 2021 seems an age away, however nothing could be further from the truth. The average West Hampstead property sale was taking 19 weeks between the offer price being agreed and the keys/monies handed over BEFORE THE POST-LOCKDOWN. So with as many as 40% to 50% more West Hampstead homeowners in that same sales pipeline of agreeing the offer and the legal and finance to be sorted as we speak, solicitors/conveyancers and mortgage lenders are really struggling with demand for their services, meaning the average time will increase. Hence, I believe as many as…

55 West Hampstead people could miss out on the

£2,300,860 stamp duty tax savings.

There is time left to sell and legally complete your West Hampstead property sale before 31st March stamp duty deadline if you put the property on the market now with a realistic asking price, a decent marketing plan and razor sharp reflexes when it comes to the legal and mortgage work.

Yet with 40% to 50% more home movers in the system, those looking to sell their West Hampstead home should be very suspicious of agents being too optimistic on their initial asking price (many estate agents get a commission to put a property on the market, meaning they over-egg the pudding on the suggested asking price to flatter you, only to badger you to reduce the asking price weeks later). 

Those wasted weeks at an inflated asking price will mean the difference between you securing a buyer and you then buying your next West Hampstead home with or without the stamp duty savings, which are up to £15,000 per home move.

And whilst many West Hampstead buyers seem ready, willing and able to pay top dollar prices for West Hampstead properties that match their changed post-lockdown home needs, speaking privately to many West Hampstead agents, some West Hampstead homeowners’ price expectations for their West Hampstead homes are now becoming too optimistic, meaning they will undoubtedly lose out.

We also can’t forget as many as 1 in 5 mortgage surveys are being down valued by the surveyor, meaning unless all parties are willing to negotiate, the sale falls through and the homeowner has to go back to ‘Square One’.

My best piece of advice for those currently sold and in the sales systems with lawyers and mortgage brokers is to speak to your solicitor and mortgage broker every single week and ask if there is anything you need to do to ensure the sale proceeds smoothly and expediently. Also, if you are asked for any information from your solicitor or mortgage broker in between times, drop everything and respond quickly to their request. The odd day here and there will make all the difference. 

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