How to beat the stamp duty holiday deadline

How to beat the stamp duty holiday deadline

By Annabel Dixon

With the tax break available until the end of September, here’s everything you need to know about saving up to £2,500.

The Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday on the first £500,000 of a property's purchase price is now over but there’s still scope to secure a saving until the end of September. 

The threshold at which stamp duty kicks in has dropped from £500,001 to £250,001 for three months until 30 September 2021.

It means that buyers can save up to £2,500 if they complete – in other words, legally transfer ownership – before the end of September.

Normal stamp duty rates will resume on 1 October 2021.

If you want to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, you need to make sure you have your ducks in a row well before it ends.

With a congested sales pipeline, the time it takes between agreeing a sale and completing is now four months

Luckily, help is at hand. Scroll down for our latest advice and insights on how to get ahead of the game.

A quick recap of what the stamp duty holiday is all about

The Chancellor unveiled the stamp duty holiday at the summer economic update last July in a bid to boost the housing market after the first lockdown.

He temporarily raised the threshold at which home buyers started paying stamp duty with immediate effect, from £125,001 to £500,001, in England and Northern Ireland.

It meant the maximum you could have saved was £15,000 if you bought a home that cost £500,000 or more.

Our interactive table, below, reveals the savings that were on offer under the full stamp duty holiday.

The Chancellor extended the full holiday until the end of June 2021. And, to avoid a ‘cliff edge’ once this period ended, he ‘tapered’ it off between 1 July and 30 September 2021.

There's more details in our stamp duty holiday explainer. And you can get the lowdown on regular stamp duty and how it's calculated in our guide.

How to boost your chances of buying a home before the stamp duty holiday ends

If you're looking for a home to buy now, you’re cutting it very fine. Check out Zoopla’s simple tools to supercharge your property search.

From registering to get instant alerts and save property searches, to mapping out the exact area you want to look, our handy tools will make your property search a whole lot easier – and importantly, get you ahead of the competition.

You may want to buy a home that is not in a chain or on the open market to improve your chances of transacting faster.

Consider purchasing a new-build home direct from a house builder. From buyer incentives, to 10-year NHBC building warranties, there’s a lot going for buying a brand new home.

Alternatively, explore buying a property at auction. As we discuss in our guide, buying a property via an auctioneer, such as iamsold, can be a good way to secure a quick sale, avoiding a potentially lengthy, conventional buying process. 

Then comes the business of making an offer. You’ll want to place an offer that the seller will readily accept so that you can kickstart the conveyancing process as quickly as possible. Not sure where to start? Here are eight factors to weigh up when calculating your offer.

Once your offer has been accepted, the next step is to press the green light on conveyancing - the legal and administrative process of buying a property. 

If you're in the dark about how a conveyancer can help you, our 10-step guide to their role will show what you're paying for.

And check out our top tips for a smooth property transaction.

Our guide on how to keep your property chain intact is also a useful read.

Finally, if you’re tripping up on industry jargon, look it up in our property jargon buster.

Tips for selling and moving on before the stamp duty holiday ends

If you’re planning to sell your home and buy a new one before the stamp duty holiday ends, being prepared and in-the-know will pay dividends. 

Estate agents play a key role in how quickly your property sells so make sure you keep in close and regular contact with them.

You should also find out how ‘legal kerb appeal’ can help you sell your home – and avoid conveyancing delays.

Of course, selling your home isn’t always plain sailing. But our no-nonsense guide on the most common hiccups when selling and how to overcome them will point you in the right direction.

And a few words on moving during a pandemic

Yes, we are in unchartered territory. Our round-up, 7 things to know about moving in 2021, brings you up to speed on all-things moving during a pandemic.

You can find out more about the unique (but necessary) features of socially-distanced viewings in our guide.

Finally, 7 factors that will shape the housing market in 2021 reveals what to keep an eye on over the coming months.

Good luck!

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