Doug Crawford, CEO of My Home Move, comments on The BudgetMarch 16, 2016
“With the clock ticking down and just 16 days until the new stamp duty surcharge on second homes becomes law, we finally have certainty on the details. The new changes are a step in the right direction but arrive too late in the day for many of our customers.
“Some of our clients have faced a huge conundrum on whether to proceed with a purchase because they could not be certain of completing before the change. Being able to reclaim the tax is one thing, but many buyers are not in the position to proceed with a purchase at the higher rate in the first place.
“Across the country, the pressure on any property chain that has a second home purchase within it is going to mean an extremely busy couple of weeks for the conveyancing industry. The critical question will be whether second home buyers who don’t make the 1st April deadline will be prepared to continue with their purchase at the higher stamp duty rate? We anticipate a challenging period for estate agents as they work to renegotiate deals up and down affected chains in early April.
“Some cases are clear-cut like landlords adding to their portfolio of existing buy-to-let properties but others are not. For example, we have seen a lot of couples buying a property when one of them has not necessarily been able to sell an existing property – and until now the rules on how that would work have not been clear which is very hard to explain to people going through the stress of buying a home.”