Coronavirus Blog Series:
Stamp Duty Relief – Delays & Deadline

Published 29 October 2020

A recent Sky News article has suggested that many property buyers may be missing out on the stamp duty relief due to a “large backlog” and “severe delays” in house sales.

The Chancellor announced a ‘temporary holiday’ on stamp duty on the first £500,000 of all property sales in England and Northern Ireland back in July. The initiative was designed to help house buyers who were struggling due of the coronavirus pandemic and to help boost the property market across the UK.

With a high uptake, estate agents and property experts are now warning that many buyers could miss the 31 March 2021 deadline and potentially lose out on savings of up to £15,000.

Property website Zoopla has said that around 140,000 more people than last year are waiting to complete on a property. Zoopla has further reported that there are 418,000 house sales in the pipeline across the UK to be completed.

Robert Muat, Managing Director of London-based estate agents Laurels, has commented that the backlog is resulting in an almost 30% increase in the time taken to progress a sale. He further notes that outdated systems, such as mortgage offers being sent by fax machine, are further contributing to the delays and has called for the Government to consider extending the deadline.

Nick Leeming, Chairman of estate agents Jackson-Stops, has advised that those looking to exchange before the stamp duty holiday deadline “should look to have an agreed offer in place by December latest”.

If you are planning a house sale or purchase in Northern Ireland, MKB Law’s Residential Property and Conveyancing team will provide the legal support and assistance you need to complete the process quickly and efficiently.

Our conveyancing fees are calculated based on the value of your property and we provide a transparent and competitive fee structure from the outset to assist you. For a more detailed and personalised quotation, please contact one of our team today.

If you require further information or assistance on the above, please contact MKB Law on 028 9024 2450 or

This article is for general guidance only and should not be regarded as a substitute for professional legal advice. Source: Sky News

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