In the first quarter (Q1) of the year, there was a 10% surge in the number of property sales compared with the previous quarter, largely fuelled by a boom in buy-to-let landlords purchasing investment properties.
Landlords rushed to complete on purchases at the start of the year to avoid the 3% Stamp Duty surcharge for buy-to-let properties and second homes.
New data shows that the volume of properties changing hands in Q1 increased by 15% compared to last year, with the surge driven by huge demand from buy-to-let landlords, as investors moved quickly to beat the Stamp Duty deadline on 1st April.
As a result, Q1 recorded a post-recession record of 275,002 transactions registered between January and March, according to the latest Conveyancing Market Tracker from Search Acumen.
The Chairman of Search Acumen, Mark Riddick, comments: “Conveyancers’ services have been in high demand so far this year, as buyers of second homes and buy-to-let properties have created a stampede to beat the April 2016 Stamp Duty deadline. The artificial stimulus of Government intervention has put major pressure on workloads; more than we’ve seen in the opening exchanges of any year since the recession, and topping the pre-Mortgage Market Review rush of 2014.
“Our analysis points to another interesting trend in the market, where challenger firms have enjoyed the biggest benefits of the year-on-year rise in transactions. As conveyancers pause for breath after the Stamp Duty frenzy, there may be some who are left licking their wounds or feeling their business performance could have been better.”
He continues: “Periods like this – when services come under pressure from extra demand – can be testing all round, and it’s important for conveyancers to ensure their systems and processes are fit to deliver for clients within acceptable time periods. Searchers can stall transactions, which is why selecting the right search partner plays a vital role in reducing delays and ensuring your firm emerges unscathed.”1
We have created a comprehensive guide to the Stamp Duty surcharge for landlords to understand how it will affect your lettings business: https://www.justlandlords.co.uk/news/landlords-guide-stamp-duty-surcharge/
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