The effects of the stamp duty holiday are clear to see. Since it’s introduction on 8th July 2020, the property market has been a hive of activity. House prices have risen sharply, as has the number of completed transactions. With just six weeks to go until the end of the stamp duty holiday, many people will be keen to capitalise on this window for their next property investment.
Data released by the Office for National Statistics this past week has shown that the average UK house price rose by 13.2% in the year to June 2021. This is the fastest rate of annual growth since November 2004.
It proves that the rate of growth seen in the property market did not slow down as the first stamp duty holiday deadline approached on 30 June. In fact, that month the average UK house price reached a record high of £266,000. For context, this means that on average, prices had jumped by £31,000 since the tax break was unveiled.
Source: Office for National Statistics
No summer slow down
Heading into summer, some commentators expected the market to stutter. A combination of the stamp duty holiday tapering down – as well as the usual disruption caused by agents, solicitors and valuers going on a holiday of their own at this time of the year – led some to predict a slump in activity.
This led some to predict a slump in activity. Although, the reality has been quite different. The property market remains buoyant, with demand from both buyers and sellers consistently high.
Some of this will be down to the backlog of deals that remain in the pipeline. For example, Rightmove has suggested that there were more than 700,000 deals pending completion at the start of July. They may have missed the initial £15,000 stamp duty savings on offer, but this bottleneck will also have sustained activity into the summer months.
Fast finance is key
Savings of £2,500 are still available for those able to complete residential property purchases before 30 September. After this point, the usual stamp duty bands and rates will come back into effect:
- 0% for properties valued up to £125,000
- 0% for first-time buyers purchasing a property valued £300,000 or less
With a small window of time available, property buyers must be able to act quickly. The key to this is to have fast finance in place.
To that end, mortgages are typically not a viable option for property. In fact, according to figures from Trussle, the average time taken to receive a mortgage approval almost trebled from eight to 22 days over the course of 2020. That’s a 14 day increase for just the approval of the application – not the delivery of the loan.
Source: Mortgage Strategy
Simply put, anyone without the finances already in place to complete a property purchase is unlikely to resolve this issue by going through traditional lenders. Rather, property investors ought to consider the faster, more flexible option of bridging loans.