SDL: Auctions a viable way of beating the stamp duty deadline

With news that the stamp duty holiday is likely to be extended until the end of June, SDL Property Auctions managing director Andrew Parker said one of few ways to beat the deadline will be auctions.

Parker said: “When you buy a property in an auction, you have a fixed completion date from the outset. Once the hammer falls contracts are exchanged and the completion date is legally set.

“This is typically 20 working days following the date of the auction – unless otherwise specified in the legal pack. So, with accommodating weekends, purchases could be completed in just 28 days.

“The average property purchase on the open market is taking more than 100 days – which means if the deadline is extended, the buying process needs to realistically start in the next week or so.

“Many buyers will be unlikely to complete and will be left disappointed if they see the news and think they now have plenty of time. From now until the new proposed deadline, auctions is the only method to ensure completion without having to pay stamp duty.”

It remains to be seen how the stamp duty holiday extension will work – it seems likely there could be a cut-off date after which new buyers can’t take advantage of the stamp duty relief.