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Clocks going back

Published: 27/10/2020 By Tam van Wyk

Summer’s well and truly over now and it has to rate as one of the strangest on record, with everyone’s holiday plans in chaos and events delayed or cancelled. There was no Wimbledon tennis, no Euro 2020, no Ascot and countless weddings and birthday celebrations were postponed. It wasn’t all bad though, to compensate, the sun made a welcome appearance and we all rushed back to the pubs and restaurants, taking advantage of the chancellor’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme. At the same time, the ‘Stamp Duty Holiday’ has brought the property market back to life in spectacular style.

So what on earth can we expect this autumn? Will we go back into full lockdown? Or will it stay localised and when are we going to get a vaccine? Who knows. What I can tell you is the property market will continue to boom as a result of the stamp duty tax break but time is running out if you want to take advantage of it.

At the moment, it takes around 49 days to sell the average property in London. It then, normally, takes another 90 days to exchange and complete. It is possible to speed up some parts of the process but lenders are being overrun with mortgage applications and delays are now commonplace. The same applies to other parts of the process, too, from searches to surveys and there is also the spectre of lockdowns, which could further complicate matters.

Most commentators are saying you need to have both your sale and purchase agreed in principal by Christmas, at the latest. As I write, that’s only 11 weeks away! The Conveyancing Association have taken an even more bearish approach, saying, ideally, you should have put your property on the market by 25th September! If you want to save yourself as much as £15,000 on the purchase of your new home, there’s no time to delay. You need to act now. Just pick up the phone and we can get things moving for you right away.

Right, well, it’s going to be busy, so that’s all from me for this month. I’ll be back again in November.