A leading Welsh law firm are reminding house buyers in Wales that the current Land Transaction Tax holiday is currently due to end on 31st March 2021.
In Wales, it is estimated that around 80% of homebuyers liable for the main rates of land transaction tax, will save approximately £2,450 per transaction during the current holiday.
Across their six South Wales offices, Howells Solicitors complete over 1000 house sales and purchases each month, on behalf of clients buying properties in Wales and England. In England, houses buyers can currently benefit from a similar holiday having been applied to Stamp Duty Land Tax; this will also end on 31st March 2021.
Mark Hobbs, Managing Director of Howells Solicitors is concerned that they might miss the benefits provided by the current tax holidays. This is because the significant upturn in property transactions added to the lockdown is creating a bottleneck for transactions in the system. The searches provided by local authorities are taking significantly longer to be processed, as are surveys and offers of mortgage.
He stated, “Whilst the end of March is still four months away, house buyers need to be aware that the purchase of their property has to be completed on or before 31st March 2021, in order to be eligible.”
Mr Hobbs continued, “The housing market has bounced back since the first lockdown, with many of the estate agents we deal with, reporting daily record numbers of sales. Property website Zoopla has had its busiest third quarter on record, with 140,000 more buyers than the same period last year. The results of this increased activity have created a surge in demand for conveyancing services, which are reliant on local authorities, mortgage lenders and surveyors to complete the house purchases.
Undoubtedly, for some of the reasons given, some transactions are likely to miss this incentive. Presently, the conveyancing industry has been pressing the Government to extend the 31st March deadline, to assist those whose cases might otherwise miss out. This is due to the guidelines brought in to protect all of us and stop the spread of Covid-19. Home buyers should also be aware of the two week Christmas period, which can sometimes cause delays.”