Nearly £16,000 has been added to the price tag on a home across Britain since the stamp duty holiday was announced in July 2020, according to a property website.
The £15,808 increase calculated by Rightmove eclipses the potential stamp duty saving of up to £15,000 that a home buyer in England or Northern Ireland could make if completing a property purchase before Thursday.
The average asking price across Britain is now £336,073 – with some parts of Britain having experienced a rise in asking prices of close to £30,000 typically since the stamp duty cut last July.
From Thursday, the stamp duty holiday will be tapered, with the “nil rate” band halving from £500,000 to £250,000.
From October 1, the threshold will revert to its normal level of £125,000.
Solicitors and other professionals have been working extra hours to help buyers complete their purchases as speedily as possible.
But, with sales taking around four months to complete, according to Rightmove’s data, people hoping to complete before July would have typically needed to have agreed their purchase by around the end of February.
Law Society of England and Wales president Stephanie Boyce said: “It’s very stressful for those wishing to move – and I know solicitors have been working 24/7 to meet their clients’ wishes.
“However capacity is stretched across the board – from local authority searches via delays in mortgage offers through to unforeseen hiccups further along the chain.
“Unfortunately many people risk seeing the deadline come and go without completing their purchase.”
Mark Hayward, chief policy adviser at Propertymark, which represents estate agents and other property professionals, said: “We are definitely seeing a rush (before) the Thursday stamp duty tapering takes place.
“And those that are unable to meet the deadline are not seeking to withdraw from properties.
“The current continued interest in house buying and lack of supply means that we do expect to see the majority of those that are in the process complete their transactions beyond Thursday. People are moving for many reasons, the stamp duty holiday being only one of those.”
Rightmove estimates that 1.3 million buyers have taken up the stamp duty holiday, and equivalent property tax reliefs across Britain, since last summer.
Research by Rightmove among buyers expecting to take up the stamp duty holiday found only 4% would abandon their plans to buy a property if they missed either the tapered holiday or the complete cut-off in England.
The website said many people are still buying knowing that they will almost certainly not meet this week’s deadline.
The number of sales agreed on properties over £500,000 in May was 49% above the same period in 2019.
Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister said: “We haven’t yet seen any significant increase in properties falling through so it looks like most are going ahead regardless, though inevitably there will be some properties coming back onto the market later this week and next week if a buyer and seller are unable to agree new terms if the buyer misses out on the maximum stamp duty savings.
“Activity is still strong despite this first phase of the stamp duty holiday coming to an end in England, as prior to the extension being announced there was already a huge group of buyers deciding to move regardless of the stamp duty holiday.
“The high level of activity is despite the fact that buyers are now faced with prices almost £16,000 higher than July last year on average, with the number of sales agreed up across all regions this month so far compared to June 2019.”
Here are average asking prices in June 2021 followed by the increase since July 2020 in cash and percentage terms, according to Rightmove:
– Wales, £228,410, £21,510, 10.4%
– South West, £348,758, £28,397, 8.9%
– East of England, £390,652, £27,677, 7.6%
– North West, £223,824, £15,494, 7.4%
– Yorkshire and the Humber, £218,127, £14,077, 6.9%
– East Midlands, £254,306, £15,783, 6.6%
– West Midlands, £255,419, £15,474, 6.4%
– South East, £444,341, £25,546, 6.1%
– North East, £164,937, £7,857, 5.0%
– Scotland, £171,850, £5,528, 3.3%
– London, £650,294, £8,440, 1.3%