There are around 704,000 property sales currently going through the conveyancing process across Great Britain, according to analysis by Rightmove. It’s the highest number of deals in the pipeline in a decade, standing a massive 78% above the level seen in May 2019.
At the start of this year, the national sales pipeline stood at 613,000. It’s grown dramatically over the last six months, in what Rightmove calls a “frenzied market”.
Of the 704,000 sales going through right now, 220,000 were marked as Sold Subject to Contract between July last year and the end of February this year in England, and are yet to complete. The current average time from sale agreed to completion is four months.
131,000 of that 220,000 are over £250,000, and so will be affected by the imminent stepping-down of the Stamp Duty holiday (from a £500k threshold to £250k) at the end of June.
Unsurprisingly, the Stamp Duty holiday – which steps down at the end of this month and ends in September – is “not the biggest motivator for moving”, reports Rightmove after quizzing buyers currently in the conveyancing system.
Only 29% of surveyed buyers said they expected to complete in time to make use of the Stamp Duty holiday.
Of those that do hope to get a deal done in time, over half (53%) said they would carry on regardless if they missed either the June or September deadline. One in four (25%) said they would try to renegotiate with the seller, and 13% said they would plan to buy a cheaper home. 4%, meanwhile, said that they would “abandon their plans completely” if they out on the temporary tax break.