Buying frenzy as stamp duty holiday deadline looms

Buying frenzy as stamp duty holiday deadline looms – with eager buyers snapping up properties in minutes

  • Average house price of a home in the UK has surged by £20,000 to £250,000 
  • Website Rightmove says one in four homes are being sold in less than a week 
  • Estate agents say city workers are escaping to the country due to home working 

The stamp duty holiday deadline has sparked a buying frenzy with eager buyers snapping up homes in days or even minutes.

Since Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the tax break last summer, prices have rocketed.

The average price of a UK home has surged by £20,000 to around £250,000, in just a year, according to official figures.

The stamp duty holiday deadline of June 30 has caused a buying frenzy across the UK  

Property listings website Rightmove has called the current rush of demand the ‘busiest-ever housing market’. It said one in four homes are now being sold in less than seven days.

Estate agents have also reported a stampede of city workers looking to escape to the country as the dawn of working from home means many no longer need to commute to the office every day.

£2.65m manor snapped up in 3 weeks

A six-bedroom family home linked to Richard III sold for £2.65million after spending just three weeks on the market.

The Manor House triggered a bidding war between two London buyers, with one even offering £100,000 more than the asking price.

The Grade II-listed property in Stanford in the Vale, Oxfordshire, was sold last month by Stowhill Estates. Lucy Joerin, boss of Stowhill, said: ‘This sort of premium property could normally take us a year to sell – so it is extraordinary.’

The house, which comes with a two-storey barn, a workshop, orchard, a separate one-bed cottage and 1.66 acres of garden and grounds, was once owned by Anne Neville, who was Queen Consort to Richard III.

The stamp duty holiday currently means buyers pay no tax on the first £500,000 of a property’s value. 

It is due to end on June 30, with the zero-tax threshold then tapering down to £250,000 until September 30, after which it will go back to £125,000.

Agents say the tax break has prompted a rush of buyers seeking to beat the deadlines. 

One two-bedroom bungalow in Port Isaac, north Cornwall, was sold in ‘literally five minutes’ for the asking price of £315,000.

Another property worth £4.5million received an offer without the buyers even viewing it, the Sunday Times reported.

Lucy Joerin, boss of Oxfordshire estate agency Stowhill Estates, said high-end properties were selling more quickly because the savings on the first £500,000 ‘are still significant – enough to pay for a new kitchen or bathroom’. 

She said properties worth £1million or more that previously took a year to sell were now going in a matter of days or weeks.

She said house hunters queued up to view Parsonage Farm, a £1.6million six-bedroom home in the village of Childrey, between Oxford and Swindon, before it was sold in just one week for its asking price to a London buyer.

Mrs Joerin, 45, said: ‘The first lockdown prompted a big exodus from London. I think everyone is re-evaluating their lifestyle. And with the stamp duty holiday, it has been like pouring fire on a fuel that is already burning.’

Jeremy Leaf, an estate agent based in north London, said that homes were also continuing to be snapped up quickly in the capital.

‘We are seeing places go in as little as days or a week,’ he said.

However, the rush to buy has prompted some to warn prices could tumble once the stamp duty relief ends and the Chancellor’s furlough scheme closes.

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