22 February 2021



If you’re thinking about moving home but are unsure how the end of the stamp duty holiday could impact your plans, I’ve some new insights to share.

The latest study from property portal Rightmove shows that demand from buyers is growing, with all of the numbers they use to track buyer activity on their site being ahead of this time last year.

As it’s now far too late to realistically complete a deal before the stamp duty holiday is due to end on the 31st March, it would appear that many buyers’ desires to move are not dependent on the potential tax saving.

In fact, the number of people contacting estate agents about homes to buy is up by 18% compared to this time last year, and the number of visits to property portals is up by 45%.

This high buyer demand is outstripping new supply and therefore helping to push up prices despite the challenging economic backdrop. Asking prices are going up.
First time buyers are battling with each other and estate agents to secure their first home.

So buyer demand is higher and prices are rising, but one thing people might find right now is that there isn’t as much new choice as usual.

The number of new properties coming up for sale is down by 21% annually.

I expect that one of the main reasons for this is that owners of family homes are delaying coming to market, understandably due to home-schooling distractions.

What else is happening in the market?

Experts estimate that there are around 100,000 buyers who agreed a purchase before Christmas but will fail to complete by the stamp duty deadline, and will be faced with a tax bill that they may not have factored in when they agreed to buy the property. Unless Chancellor Rishi Sunak extends the deadline. Rumours are about that he will extend by another six weeks.

The latest analysis shows that of those buyers who agreed a purchase during the month the stamp duty announcement was made in July last year, one in five of them are still stuck in the logjam, more than six months later.

This is double the proportion of the previous year when only one in ten purchases that were agreed in July 2019 was still waiting to complete at this time last year.

So even if you agreed a purchase the day after the stamp duty holiday was announced, with just five weeks to go, you may still be at risk of losing out by not having enough time to meet the deadline.

What do the experts say?

The Rightmove property data expert Tim Bannister explained that the property market has got off to a strong start in 2021, and that there are lots of good reasons to put your home up for sale.

He said: “Last year the market was unexpectedly buoyed by buyers’ determination to move and satisfy their new lockdown-induced housing needs. We may well be seeing a continuation of that this year.

“Rightmove’s early 2021 buyer data shows that despite the imminent end of the stamp duty incentive, all of the key buyer metrics are ahead of early 2020, itself an active period as the market was boosted by the post-election ‘Boris bounce’. 

“As well as the current lockdown motivating buyer demand again, the restrictions have also been a factor in limiting new supply, leading to some modest upwards price pressure. These are strong signs that new buyer demand is not facing a cliff-edge after the 31st of March.

“It remains to be seen if this momentum will be enough to make up for the removal of the stamp duty savings that are benefitting many buyers and have been adding a sense of urgency to the whole market.

“So far in 2021 home-schooling has taken priority over home-selling for some people. Family properties are suffering most, with the difficulty of preparing a property for marketing and viewings while it’s in use and occupied 24/7 by the whole family likely to give you cause to delay.

“Ironically, whilst it’s too late for the stamp duty holiday, there are good reasons to come to market now, especially if selling a property suitable for a family? There are more possible buyers looking and fewer suitable alternatives to divert their attention away from yours. An early start to the selling process will also help to get you sold, moved, and settled in before the new school year.

“With the current speed of the vaccine roll-out, that new school year will hopefully be spent in schools and out of the home, but many of the other new needs for more space both indoors and out will remain.”

Thanks for reading

I'm here to help sellers, buyers, landlords, and tenants.

Call me or drop me a message if you think I might be able to help you.


The Good Estate Agent – North Nottinghamshire
Tel: 01777 237310 or 07981 744003


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