14th August 2020
14th August 2020
When the conservative government announced their proposals to boost the property market in the Queens Speech following their election victory in 2019, I am sure that they could not have envisaged that they would soon be dealing with a global pandemic. COVID-19 reared its ugly head and the country went into lockdown in March 2020.
The pandemic has had a surprising effect on the property market. Despite economic uncertainty and the threat of mass job losses the period in lockdown seems to have resulted in a huge surge in property enquiries and the market is enjoying a time of vigorous growth. This appears to have been triggered by people reviewing their own property needs and lifestyle choices and compounded by the stamp duty holiday announced by the government in July 2020.
The stamp duty holiday runs until 31 March 2021 and means that if you do not currently own a property no duty will be payable on the first £500,000.00. If you are purchasing over £500,000.00 so long as you do not own any other property you will still pay significantly less duty than previously on properties purchased in England and Northern Ireland.
The pandemic has also had the effect of highlighting the need for a secure and remote way to identify sellers and buyers in a time when face to face meetings are restricted but solicitors, estate agents and lenders must still comply with stringent anti-money laundering regulations. As a consequence, HM Land Registry are exploring ways to identify a solution to this issue and have also announced that they will accept electronic signatures on some documents. It is certainly a very interesting and unprecedented period for property professionals and prospective homeowners alike.
Should you require any further information or advice on residential property matters please do not hesitate to contact me at our Tynemouth office on 0191 257 8888 or alternatively by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.