Homes sell at record speed
The stamp duty holiday, coupled with pent-up demand, has led to a huge increase in speedy sales, according to Rightmove. New figures from the property portal reveal that the number of homes selling within seven days is up by 125% on a year ago, and at the highest level in a decade.
The data reveals that one in seven homes is selling within a week, with a third taking less than a fortnight to find a buyer.
The stamp duty holiday, introduced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his summer statement, moved the threshold at which buyers pay the tax from £125,000 to £500,000 – until 31 March 2021.
More than 200,000 homes had offers accepted between the Chancellor’s announcement on 8 July and 31 August. In London one in 10 homes went under offer during the period – double the number a year ago.
Aside from the stamp duty holiday, sales have been driven by people looking for larger houses with outside space, following their experience of working at home during lockdown. As a result, one in five three-bedroom semis sold in a week compared to one in seven a year ago. However, flats are being snapped up too, with 8% selling in seven days compared to 5% last year.
As with any market conditions, the homes which are selling fastest are those which look most appealing to buyers and are realistically priced. Miles Shipside from Rightmove said: “There’s no point rushing a home to market without carefully thinking through the best way to market it and making sure it looks its best.”
But he also cautioned sellers about the short window presented by the stamp duty holiday. “The conveyancing log jam created by the pause and subsequent market surge means that people thinking of coming to market really need to do so in September or early October if they want to have a chance of completing with enough time to beat the stamp duty deadline.”
Read more about this story in the Evening Standard Homes & Property.