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Search Acumen: Property market levelling out

The property market has begun to level out compared with the start of the year, but remains incredibly active, according to Andy Sommerville, director at Search Acumen.

He added that demand is still strong, and that Search Acumen expects it to fuel activity in the property market well into Autumn and beyond.

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The latest UK monthly property transactions data showed that the provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in September 2021 was 160,950, 68.4% higher than September 2020 and 67.5% higher than August 2021.

Sommerville said: “These latest figures reflect the ambition of homeowners to get property transactions over the line whilst the stamp duty financial incentive still stood.”

He added that first-time buyers, families and those looking for properties outside cities have carried the weight of the market and have taken the most benefit from the stamp duty holiday.

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Somerville said: “Throughout the year, many lawyers have embraced digital ways of working in order to deliver efficiencies to the transaction processes and avoid burnout.

“Given the foreseeable levels of high demand, a long-term and sector-wide shift towards digitisation is needed if we are to accommodate speedier transactions and improve services to buyers in the long run.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Did the Stamp Duty Holiday Ignite a BTL Fever?

Despite the reduction in stamp duty bills, there is little sign that the stamp duty holiday led to large numbers of new investors purchasing buy-to-lets.

At their peak this year, investors purchased 14 per cent of homes sold across Great Britain in February, the month before the original end of the stamp duty holiday. However, over the entire course of the 15-month tax-break investors purchased 12 per cent of homes sold in Great Britain. This is marginally up from an average of 11 per cent during the 12 months before the holiday, but far from the 17 per cent recorded in Q4 2015 – the run up to the introduction of the 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge on 1 April 2016.

This means there were a total of 215,000 investor purchases across Great Britain between July 2020 and September 2021. While this figure is up from 164,300 during the equivalent period in 2018 and 2019, more transactions have taken place by other buyer types. Both these numbers remain below the 242,400 purchases which were made during the 15-month run up to the introduction of the 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge on 1 April 2016.

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Over the course of the15-month stamp duty holiday, the average buy-to-let investor’s tax bill fell by 35 per cent – from £8,500 in the month before the holiday, to an average of £5,500 between July 2020 and September 2021. For the average investor, this equates to almost three months’ rent.

The average bill came to £5,300 during the first 12 months of the holiday when investors paid the 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge on the first £500,000 of any purchase. It then rose 17 per cent to £6,200 when the threshold fell to £250,000 between July and September 2021. Average bills are set to return to around £8,400 from 1 October 2021, just below what investors were paying on the eve of the stamp duty holiday.

Overall, the holiday meant that the average investor paid less in stamp duty than at any time since April 2016, when the 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge was introduced. Despite this, the average bill during the holiday remained twice the level it was before the surcharge was introduced. This is partly why there hasn’t been as much of an increase in investor purchases this time around.

There is little indication that investors used their savings from the holiday to buy bigger properties in more expensive areas. Instead, 83 per cent of investor purchases were under £250,000, meaning their savings from the holiday were significantly smaller than those enjoyed by home movers. It also means that investors have been less sensitive to the change in the nil-rate stamp duty threshold since they tend to buy cheaper properties.

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During the holiday the average price paid by a landlord rose by just 1 per cent to £181,000, despite house price growth of 10 per cent over the same period. This suggests landlords were happy to pocket the tax saving rather than use it to buy a property which would generate more rent.

RENTAL GROWTH

Average rental growth across Great Britain hit 8.0 per cent in September, the third fastest annual rate of growth recorded this year. Nationally, regions in the South of England have continued to drive rental growth. The average rent on a new home rose 14.8 per cent in the South West, 14.7 per cent in the South East and 10.8 per cent in the East of England. September marked the sixth consecutive month where annual rental growth hit double figures in the South West.

London rents have also continued to recover. Although Inner London rents fell for the twentieth consecutive month, the 4.4 per cent annual fall was the smallest decline this year, and smaller than the 22.1 per cent decrease recorded in April when the market bottomed out. In Outer London, rents grew 3.2 per cent annually in September, rising for the thirteenth consecutive month. This kept Greater London rents overall in positive territory, up 1.8 per cent year-on-year.

Source: Property Wire

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Property market now standing on own two feet

Any fears of a property market collapse following the stamp duty holiday can now be put to bed, according to Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves.

The Halifax House Price Index revealed that UK house prices rose by 1.7% in September, equating to an increase of £4,400 to the value of the average property.

This means that UK house prices are now at a record high of £267,500.

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von Grundherr said: “The stamp duty holiday clock has now well and truly expired and those to have seen a last gasp saving would have entered the market many months ago in order to complete in time.

“Of course, such heightened levels of market activity may inevitably bring a slight cooling in the rate of house price growth, but that’s to be expected.”

Looking to the London market, von Grundherr explained that it has been waiting patiently in the shadows watching high levels of activity play out across the rest of the UK.

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The higher price of property has long seen many London homebuyers disregard the importance of the stamp duty holiday, particularly since the price threshold was reduced, he revealed.

von Grundherr said: “However, we’ve seen a far more natural level of momentum building across the market and this looks set to snowball during the autumn and winter months.

“As a result, our money is on London to finish the year with the most impressive performance where house price growth is concerned.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Rightmove: Total savings from stamp duty holiday estimated at £6.1bn

The total savings people have made by purchasing properties during the stamp duty holiday has been estimated at £6.1bn, according to data collected by Rightmove.

With the tax holiday drawing to a close, Rightmove has estimated that one million households benefitted from a stamp duty saving since the incentive was introduced in July 2020.

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As well as this, buyer demand in England is 43% higher than in September 2019.

Meanwhile, HMRC has revealed that stamp duty receipts have continued to decline.

Tim Bannister, property expert at Rightmove, said: “Around a million households made tax savings since last July, which provided some people with an added incentive to move, especially in the higher price brackets.

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“We’re still seeing much higher levels of demand for homes than in 2019 so it’s clear there have been a number of other reasons for making this summer the time to move to a new home.

“There are still savings to be had for first time buyers, so this hasn’t signalled the end of savings altogether and we’re expecting the market to stay busy for the rest of the year and into next year.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Stamp duty holiday generates 140,000 ‘extra’ transactions

The stamp duty holiday has generated 140,000 “extra” transactions in the UK mortgage market but contributed a meagre 0.1 per cent of GDP, according to a report.

In its report, ‘Lessons From The Stamp Duty Holiday’, the London School of Economics said thousands of homebuyers had been helped by the tax break but when it came to consumption the effect was not as great.

LSE distinguished policy fellow Kath Scanlon told FTAdviser in an online briefing: “I dare say there were other tax changes one could have made which would have stimulated more consumption.”

The holiday enabled first-time buyers to avoid stamp duty land tax on up to £500,000 of a house purchase between July 2020 and June 2021. On average, it saved individual buyers £15,000, according to the report.

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The government introduced the tax holiday to stimulate the housing market and to increase expenditure on goods and services relating to housing transactions.

But LSE found the “extra” 140,000 transactions, which it defined as “transactions which would not have taken place without the holiday”, sparked expenses of an average of £16,000 per transaction.

This totalled around £2.2bn, though LSE clarified in its report that this figure could sit anywhere between £1.8 to £2.7bn, “given the very large uncertainties around these figures”.

With the UK gross domestic product totalling £1.96trn in 2020, this means the stamp duty holiday expenditure contributed just a fraction, 0.1 per cent, to countrywide spending.

The biggest values in the stamp duty holiday expenditure total came from bathroom and kitchen renovations. Followed by gas rewiring, and then furniture.

LSE’s report added these values to the pre-sale improvements sellers made prior to putting their property on the market to attract buyers to calculate final expenditure.

For the economy as a whole, Scanlon said the stamp duty tax holiday probably wasn’t “so much” worthwhile due to the spike in house prices, compared to how worthwhile it was for the industry and its employers.

“But this [the stamp duty tax holiday] was chartered at the housing market specifically and it seems to have been successful.”

When the holiday came into force, house prices began to climb, enjoying eight months of uninterrupted growth.

According to the Office of National Statistics’ (ONS) latest house price index, UK average house prices have increased by 10 per cent over the year to May 2021.

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Scanlon said it would be interesting to compare the stamp duty holiday with the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Whilst the LSE report did not explore this, Barclaycard figures showed the latter scheme prompted a 34 per cent jump in spending on dining out. The Treasury estimated the average claim was about £5 during the scheme’s tenure, totalling to an estimated 80m claims which cost it £400m.

Other contributing factors LSE cited in its report for the rise in house prices, alongside stamp duty tax, included the pandemic induced shift to rural areas with more space.

“The tax holiday was not wholly responsible for house price rise,” said Scanlon. “Consumer behaviours [due to the pandemic] really reshaped the housing market. Though we still don’t know if this is temporary, or here to stay.”

By Ruby Hinchliffe

Source: FT Adviser

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Stamp duty holiday sees 22% rise in monthly property transactions

The Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday has delivered market stimulus that has far outweighed the immediate response to the 2007/08 financial crisis, according to analysis by Search Acumen.

And the current SDLT relaxation has so far triggered a 7% rise in house prices from June 2020 to February 2021, adding £17,265 to the price of the average home in England.

This rise has more than offset the £2,572 SDLT savings made on the average property.

On average 103,724 residential property transactions have occurred each month across England and Northern Ireland since the tax break was introduced, up 22% from the 84,691 average in the 12 months to March 2020.

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Since the measure was introduced, 171,303 extra deals have taken place compared to the pre-COVID period in 2019/20.

Search Acumen’s analysis showed the SDLT holiday of 2008/09 in the wake of the Great Financial Crisis saw an average of 60,048 transactions per month. This was down 27% from the previous 12-month average of 82,378 monthly residential property transactions.

Higher transaction volumes during the current holiday could be partly attributed to lending conditions being more favourable than in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Strong credit availability has helped property transactions progress despite pandemic-induced disruption to the economy, with the tightening of credit mainly concentrated in the high loan-to-value (LTV) segment of the mortgage market.

Andy Sommerville, director at Search Acumen, said: “This analysis suggests the property market has been far more responsive to intervention compared to the post-financial crisis holiday.

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“The housing market’s strong performance compared to the wider economy highlights the contrast between the current healthcare crisis and its economic impacts, and the 2008/09 crisis which was rooted in financial markets.

“While many households have absorbed income hits and face greater job insecurity, the UK’s financial system has held up reasonably well since the onset of COVID. Lenders did pull back from the mortgage market in the early stages of the pandemic, but the flow of credit has gradually picked up as banks got to grips with the crisis.

“As a result, financing for house purchases has been in reasonably good supply and worked in tandem with the SDLT holiday to generate a level of activity not seen for a decade³, despite the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19.

“However, giving extra support for buyers has had many challenging consequences, from pushing up house prices and negating the average saving to heaping a heavy workload on time-pressured conveyancers.

“Property lawyers have been working around the clock to get people into their homes before the initial 31 March cut off. The conveyancing workload is unlikely to get any lighter given the holiday is now running until June and tapering through to September.

“In the long-term, the industry needs to put conveyancing capacity – not to mention mental wellbeing – at the top of the agenda given the pressure law firms have been under to ensure clients complete on time.

“It is clear the traditional way of performing due diligence on transactions is getting in the way of efficiency, and we need to pivot quickly to digital, data-led solutions that can improve the experience for homebuyers and their advisers.”

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Is Ending the Stamp Duty Holiday Good for Property Market?

Introducing a stamp duty holiday at the height of the pandemic was commendable but it has over-stayed its welcome, says Tom Bill, Head of UK Residential research at Knight Frank.

With the benefit of hindsight, the stamp duty holiday was unnecessary. The Chancellor was right to introduce it last July but the notion it is needed to support the country’s economic recovery has not rung true for many months – which is a welcome development.

Would activity in the housing market have been as strong over the last year without the holiday? It is doubtful but we would still be talking about a remarkable year compared to initial expectations.

The general election of December 2019 was the catalyst for the release of frustrated demand that had built during five years of Brexit-induced political uncertainty. While Covid initially put this recovery on hold, it was subsequently amplified as people reassessed their homes during successive lockdowns. Then along came the stamp duty holiday.

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Its merits as a way of stimulating wider economic activity are clear but the decision to extend the holiday by six months beyond the original March 2021 deadline is more open to debate.

However, if we remember back to the Budget, which took place on 3 March, it was a time of some uncertainty. Schools had not yet re-opened, less than a third of the UK population had received their first vaccination and a stamp duty holiday had been a welcome boost for those that most needed it.

The introduction of a taper was arguably more significant than the extension. It showed the government had listened to concerns about pressures on the conveyancing system and meant it avoided newspaper headlines about buyers missing the deadline through no fault of their own.

However, in hindsight, a three-month extension and a three-month taper was possibly excessive.

UK house price growth was still only in single digits at this stage but it had been above 5% for seven months and the holiday was already distorting sales patterns.

March was a record month for transactions in the UK and over the year more money was spent in the housing market than since before the global financial crisis. Predictably, sales volumes dropped sharply in April in a similar way to 2016 after the implementation of a 3% stamp duty surcharge for second home-owners.

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

It has made the true state of the market difficult to assess. It is the equivalent of looking in the mirror at the funfair – you can make out the overall shape but little of the meaningful detail.

However, the stamp duty holiday hasn’t just squeezed transactions into artificially short periods of time, it has also put people off entering the market.

A tax deadline there is no guarantee of meeting, together with stories of sealed bids, over-worked conveyancing solicitors and a shortage of removals vans will have deterred some – exacerbating already-low levels of supply and putting upwards pressure on prices.

Supply did not pick up after Christmas this year in the way it normally does, due to uncertainty over new variants and the fact many families were home-schooling. Ambiguity over missing the original March stamp duty holiday deadline was just another reason not to list your property.

Market appraisals are a leading indicator of new supply and normally build during the first quarter of the year. In the ten years between 2009 and 2019, the number of appraisals only fell once between February and March. That was in 2016, ahead of the introduction of a 3% stamp duty surcharge in April.

This hesitation on the part of sellers highlights how people crave stability. That is true irrespective of any wider debate about the flaws of a transaction-based tax.

In a similar way to rising interest rates, there will be a financial hit from ending the holiday but the wider point is that it signals a return to normality.

Indeed, the second half of this year should see healthy levels of activity in the UK housing market. There is frustrated demand in the system, new supply is starting to pick up and the labour market is stronger than most economists predicted six months ago.

Almost a year after its introduction, there is no sense the Chancellor was wrong to introduce the stamp duty holiday but there is a strong feeling that it has, thankfully, over-stayed its welcome.

BY PETE CARVILL

Source: Property Wire

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Homebuyers Can Still Benefit from The Stamp Duty Holiday

Homebuyers can still make the most of the stamp duty holiday despite the first phase ending in six days but will have to act quickly, a leading property lawyer has warned.

The first phase of the stamp duty holiday extension – where buyers have not had to pay the tax on the first £500,000 of a property’s value – will end on June 30.

However, some homebuyers are rushing to try to complete before the deadline the second phase – where the first £250,000 is tax free – which will carry on until September 30.

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Simon Nosworthy, head of residential conveyancing at London law firm Osbornes Law, said: “There is a perception that the stamp duty holiday will be over on June 30, but that isn’t the case. There are still reasonable savings to be made until the end of September, but buyers will need to act quickly to make sure they complete before the deadline. I would say that if a buyer starts the process in the next 5 weeks or so they should be confident of completing before the September deadline.”

Simon predicts that the market will remain buoyant despite the lower tax-free amount. He added: “I would expect the lower and the higher ends of the market to remain busy in the next few weeks,” he says. “For those at the lower end the saving on £250,000 is still a substantial amount, while for those at the top end the saving of a few thousand pounds is a drop in the ocean. As a result, I would expect large transactions to be unaffected by the end of the stamp duty holiday’s first phase.”

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

The main issue for home buyers is that most of the housing stock has already been sold during the last few months.

Simon added: “There is a supply and demand issue as most of the housing stock has been going really quickly. We had one case where the buyer was going for a fairly average 1940s semi-detached but the house went to sealed bids with 12 bidders and each potential buyer had to give reasons why they wanted the property and evidence of their finances. The market has been exceptionally busy, so finding a property to purchase is an issue. However, if you do then it’s not too late to make the most of the stamp duty holiday.”

BY PETE CARVILL

Source: Property Wire

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What the End of the Stamp Duty Holiday Means for the Property Market

June 30th marks the end of the Stamp Duty Holiday at the current £500,000 threshold, with it set to stagger back to the normal rates before the final deadline at the end of September. But what will the end of the Stamp Duty Holiday mean for the property market, and when is the best time to buy a property in 2021?

Below Ross Counsell, chartered surveyor and director at property buyers, GoodMove, shares his thoughts on the Stamp Day Holiday, how it’s contributed to higher property prices and predictions for the year ahead.

When does the Stamp Duty Holiday end?

After much anticipation, the Stamp Duty Holiday in its current format will come to an end on 30th June. Following this, there will be a staggered reduction from the original threshold of £500,00 to £250,00 until the 30th of September. On the 1st October, it will return to the previous level of £125,0001.

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The Stamp Duty Holiday has been a catalyst to the massive boom in the property market and increase of house prices, with more people rushing to buy a property while the holiday restrictions are in place.

Has the Stamp Duty Holiday contributed to higher property prices this past year?

With such high demand for property fuelled by the Stamp Duty Holiday deadline, comes higher average property prices. According to ONS’s latest statistics, UK average house prices have increased by 8.9 per cent over the year to May 2021 and now stand at a mammoth £265,000 2 – the highest seen in the UK in many years.

The Stamp Duty Holiday, as well as demand for more spacious properties fuelled by lockdown, has helped the property market succeed through what has been an immensely difficult year in other industries.

How many people have used the Stamp Duty deadline?

Coupled with the recent First Homes scheme, the Stamp Duty Holiday has given many first-time buyers the possibility of getting a foot on the property ladder. We carried out a poll which found that on average, nearly two in five (39 per cent) Brits have taken advantage of the Stamp Duty Holiday when buying their home in the past year. 3 For that lucky percentage, they are expected to have made significant savings of up to £15,000.

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What does the Stamp Duty Holiday extension mean for the property market in 2021?

As we have seen from HPI statistics across the year, the housing market has become extremely saturated, following people rushing to buy properties to meet the deadline. Mortgage approvals and new buyer enquiries for properties have risen by 44 per cent⁴ with the rise in demand reflecting the inflation of house prices.

In a sense, the government’s exclusion of contract exchange with Stamp Duty may be of benefit in the long run. We can expect to see a decline in demand from October once the deadline officially ends, and expect this to be a better time to buy a property this year before rushing to try and meet the deadline.

Should buyers wait to purchase property until the end of the new deadline?

For anyone looking to purchase a property, the advice is simple – hang fire. If the statistics are reflective of anything over the past year, the Stamp Duty is of benefit to only one side of the coin – the sellers. If buyers can wait it out until the end of the deadline, they should expect to save a significant amount of money on a property.

A home is the heart of you and your family, and with only three months to go until the end of the Stamp Duty deadline, it’s worth buyers taking their time to find their dream property. Such a significant stage of life should not be rushed, as this can cause dissatisfaction in the long term.

So, in the meantime, Counsell suggests doing your research, and really getting to grips with the property market. Before looking to buy, research the area and any streets you’d be interested in living on, so you don’t need to spend time later. Look at listings every day and know exactly what it is you are looking for in a property so when the Stamp Duty ends, you can jump on it straight away. Further, make sure you have a mortgage-in-principle ready to go which will speed up the process once you decide to put in an offer.

Buying a home amidst the competitiveness of the property market can be disheartening for buyers, but it’s important to stay positive and be patient!

BY PETE CARVILL

Source: Property Wire

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Stamp Duty Holiday End Means Buyers Need a Plan B

The upcoming end of the stamp duty holiday in its current format could lead to a significant increase in the number of chains collapsing and means agencies, now more than ever, need to have contingency plans in place.

That is the warning from chain repair experts HBB Solutions, which says agents need to have a clear plan B if things start to go wrong.

The stamp duty has undoubtedly boosted and sustained the market since it was introduced back in July 2020, but the first stage of its phased-out approach is set to be reached at the end of this month (June 30).

At present, any home worth up to £500,000 is eligible for the stamp duty holiday, but after June 30 the nil rate threshold will drop to homes worth up to £250,000 until September 30. From October onwards, the nil rate threshold will return to its pre-stamp duty holiday level of £125,000.

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HBB Solutions has been in touch with some of the high street’s major lenders on their cut-off dates for receiving a Certificate of Title (COT) in order to complete on a mortgage by month end.

HSBC/First Direct                                         21 June 2021

Leeds Building Society                                23 June 2021

Halifax                                                            23 June 2021

Barclays Bank                                                23 June 2021

Precise Mortgages                                       25 June 2021

Meanwhile, Nationwide/The Mortgage Works has provided no deadline, but have said they will need five working days to send the funds by BACS and if the notice is less, they will deduct £20 for the CHAPS payment.

This effectively means anyone relying on mortgage funding has about a week left for their solicitor to complete their work, so the lenders can get the COT next week and release funds in time to beat the deadline.

This, in turn, means there could be many buyers and sellers, relying on the significant stamp duty savings they could make, pulling out late on and leading to the unfortunate but all too common situation of a chain collapsing like a pack of cards.

However, there are ways agents can prevent long chains and fall-throughs from disrupting their business, HBB Solutions insists.

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

Chris Hodgkinson, managing director of HBB Solutions and a former agent himself, said: “We all know how frustrating it can be when chains collapse. We’ve been fixing them for nearly 11 years now. We typically buy with a discount or alternatively charge a fee, starting from as little as 8%, for our service. But that cost doesn’t have to be absorbed by just the one seller, it can be negotiated across the entire chain to make if affordable and keep the sale of every house together. Even if a sale falls through only days away from completion, we’re here to help and get it back on track.”

Fall-throughs and chains breaking down – how big a problem is it? 

Data earlier this year estimated that one in four sales fall through before completion, costing homebuyers an average of £2,700 each time.

Research from property platform WiggyWam found that, in total, property transactions that fall through are costing UK homebuyers a massive £607m every year.

And there are fears that this number will inevitably rise further as the stamp duty holiday gradually comes to an end in two blocks.

On average, nearly a quarter of am (225,000) fall-throughs occur each year in the property market, costing buyers, sellers and agents alike.

There are a number of different reasons for property sales being cancelled before completion, which typically include mortgage issues, gazumping and gazundering, conveyancing delays, problems revealed in the survey, and broken chains.

Sales that are part of a chain – which is most sales – are especially vulnerable to fall-throughs, as it only takes problems with one part of the chain to cause major issues for everyone else. In particularly long and complex chains – it is not unheard of for four or five sets of buyers and sellers to exist in a chain – the chances of fall-throughs and complications are naturally much greater.

It seems highly likely, given the extraordinary levels of demand at play in the property market right now, that the one-in-four statistic – which others elsewhere have previously suggested is as high as one-in-three sales collapsing – will increase by the end of the year.

“I think we all know the pressure lenders, solicitors, search providers and, in particular, agency sales progression teams will be under in June,” Hodgkinson continues.

“We’re standing by and have our lawyers, resource and, quite importantly, cash funds all in place. We can give you a purchase price within just a few hours and provide a same day completion if it is required. If you have a chain That is not on track, then talk to us, we’re here to help.”

HBB Solutions believes that, even once the two-stage stamp duty holiday has ended, there could be issues with buyers walking away from a sale because they will no longer benefit from the stamp duty saving. In turn, sellers may be less likely to list – or withdraw their home from the market – if they start to panic about demand falling off a cliff.

What is the solution? 

As the old saying goes, failing to prepare is preparing to fail, and HBB Solutions believes that agents need to partner with a firm that can offer alternative solutions to be ahead of the game if the worst comes to the worst in terms of more chains collapsing.

One estate agent partner HBB Solutions is already working with has championed the merits of having a chain repair plan B at its fingertips.

Simon Bradbury, managing director of Thomas Morris, comments: “We find the service and proposition that HBB provide is excellent! In the highly competitive market in which we currently operate, it is increasingly challenging to come up with a genuine and compelling USP to entice prospective sellers.”

He adds: “The HBB proposition is a great ‘insurance policy’ when a chain collapses or a seller needs a guaranteed sale.”

Meanwhile, Relocation Agent Network (RAN) – a national network of estate agents specialising in relocation – has been recommending the services of HBB to its membership for more than two years now.

Mark Westcott, director at RAN, said: “We were impressed by the proposition and the team behind HBB and they were by the quality of the estate agents that make up RAN. The introduction of HBB to the membership has led to many successful deals completed as a result. Our members are now able to market HBB’s services to potential vendors as another option if needed, giving them a competitive edge, as well as promoting a part exchange offering to local developers for any sites they have that don’t have access to that service.”

The remainder of this month is likely to be incredibly busy for agents, conveyancers, surveyors and removal firms, Hodgkinson adds, and then again in the lead-up to the end of September.

Given the pressure on the system, it seems almost certain that there will be a rise in the number of chains collapsing and the number of transactions falling through, and it will be those agents who have an adequate plan B in place who will be best set to cope.

BY PETE CARVILL

Source: Property Wire

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