Survey: 45% of buyers would pay full stamp duty to skip the market backlog
We give market commentary when journalists or news outlets approach us directly for comment on specific topics. We share our commentary here too. See below.
Our survey found that almost half of current homebuyers would happily pay the stamp duty owed on their purchase if it meant completing now and avoiding the current market backlog. What's more, 39% would need to withdraw from their sale if their sale fails to complete before the end of March. See more findings and analysis below.
Real-life impact of the property market backlog
We surveyed of 3,717 people who were caught up in the property market backlog, and found that those who have seen their property purchase delayed have been impacted in a number of ways.
(If you aren't up-to-speed on the current market backlog and how the Government's stamp duty holiday has played into it you can read our 2-minute explainer here).
Stress, and alternate living arrangements
68% of those who have been delayed stated it has added stress to an already stressful life experience, while a notable 34% of delayed homebuyers have had to make alternative living arrangements because of the backlog.
Fall-throughs and price-hikes
24% have seen their sale fall through as a result of the current market backlog, while 35% have had to increase their offer just to keep the seller from pulling out. (If you're a seller who's had a buyer pull out, remember that we buy any house - meaning we can step in and repair your chain quickly).
Keeping the faith
However, the majority continue to keep the faith that they will complete before the end of March.
When asked what they'd do to secure the stamp duty saving, 69% stated that they would carry on as normal and hope to complete in time.
14% said they'd buy a more affordable property if it meant completing in time, with 9% stating they would buy a more expensive property.
For those who miss the deadline...
39% would have to withdraw from their purchase
When asked what they would do if they do miss the deadline, 39% stated they would cancel their purchase, while a further 27% said they would have to borrow more money to pay for the stamp duty.
45% would pay the stamp duty if it meant completing now
Despite remaining largely hopeful about completing in time, 45% of those asked said they would pay full stamp duty costs on their purchase if it meant they could complete now and avoid the market backlog. This is despite the fact that they may still complete in time to secure a saving.
27% of those asked regret their decision to buy and, had they known, they would have waited until after the market backlog had cleared before buying a house.
Analysis: What does this mean for the housing market - and what happens next?
As with many hastily thought-out government rescue plans, the stamp duty holiday has done an outstanding job of fuelling demand, while unfortunately neglecting how the market will actually deal with such an uplift.
Although the idea of a stamp duty saving would have been a tantalising one, many buyers are now finding themselves stuck in market limbo, facing more stress, long delays, temporary living arrangements, or having to place a higher offer to hold onto their purchase... All for a few thousand saved in tax.
But how real is that saving anyway? The incentive has driven property prices to new highs - so it's actually arguable that the stamp duty saving is actually costing homebuyers more, rather than saving anything when it's all said and done.
A dated system exposed (again)
Even worse, the market backlog has been enough to cause purchases to fall through, with even more potentially due to pull out if they do miss the deadline.
So regardless of what happens with Stamp Duty, the strain that the "stamp duty holiday" has placed on the UK's housing market exposes our archaic system again. Hopefully this may be a driver for change in the future... Although we've said that about a lot of different things for decades now - and still nothing's really changed.
In fact, this year has driven more enquiries than ever before for our "buy my house " service, which home sellers typically use when the traditional property market is failing them.
Sellers seeking speed
At Yes Homebuyers, we’ve seen the current backlog spur a flurry of enquiries from sellers caught up in the jam.
Some have been financially dependent on their sale completing before the end of March, but most just want to sell their home quickly and easily, and have the stability of a concrete timeframe in which they can sell. Ultimately, our service does this: it allows home sellers to skip the queues entirely. By doing so, they can move forward with their onward purchase.
Survey of 3,717 current UK homebuyers carried out by Find Out Now (January 22nd 2021).
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