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‘Give transactions a cutoff date to meet stamp duty deadline’ – Star Letter 09/10/2020

  • 09/10/2020
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‘Give transactions a cutoff date to meet stamp duty deadline’ – Star Letter 09/10/2020
Each week Mortgage Solutions and its sister title Specialist Lending Solutions select the top comments from our readers in our Star Letter section.


This week’s first comment was under the article: Conveyancers could struggle to complete transactions ahead of stamp duty deadline – Sinclair 

Sox said: “I couldn’t agree more. I flagged this with my colleagues a few weeks back as we were getting quotes of 19 weeks from our local conveyancers and with some lenders also running five weeks behind, five months is really not very far away with around 115 working days left.  


Introduce transaction cutoff date 

Really, I think from 1 November all clients should be warned that it might not be successful and additional checks will have to be undertaken to ensure clients have the extra cash needed for the higher stamp duty just in case. 

They said: “One way to deal with an extension could be for the government to give a cutoff date for all those in the chain having already had their mortgage offers and then allowing those to complete as soon as they can even after the deadline has passed. 

I appreciate this is easier said than done and there will be last minute changes to chains, but it seems a fair way of allowing those last few cases to take advantage without putting the conveyancers and solicitors under immense pressure.  

I remember the last time this happened with stamp duty on second properties and I really felt for them, it was an almost impossible task even then, never mind all the other issues we have now caused by Covid-19,” they added. 


Quiet period needed for mortgage industry

The next comment was in response to the story: Boris Johnson plans 95 per cent mortgage scheme 

Arron Bardoe said: “If he does launch the scheme, he needs to wait until lenders, solicitors and local authorities have cleared their backlogs. 

A report at the weekend indicated some solicitors may suspend or caveat accepting new instructions from January over fears they cannot ensure completion before the stamp duty land tax holiday ends in March. 

He added: “Added to this is that many of us are inundated, so we do not need more work. 

If the scheme is launched, it could be targeted for April when the housing market is likely to slow down. 


Review benefits of waived stamp duty 

In response to the article: Stamp duty holiday savings hit £108m in two months – Benham and ReevesMatthew Gamble said: “I think the government and chancellor need to have a cold hard look at stamp duty and the benefit of reducing it…  

Lowering or abolishing reduces tax take but is this a classic case of lower rate equals higher revenues. 

He added: “Alsoif more people move, it’s job creation for brokers, estate agents, solicitors, removals firms and subsequently trades such as DIYelectricals and furnishings. The spinoff is vast. 

Also, with employers pivoting to working from home now, being on the commuter belt might not be as essential as it once was, potentially regenerating other pockets and regions with homes and good schools. 

I think it’s just a win-win and a population that can move home easier is good for the economy. 

You can still clobber landlords if you think they are enemy number one – they are not – but it certainly needs to be reviewed just how much good and stimulus waiving stamp duty for has done in a short period,” he said. 


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