Landlords, solicitors, and estate agents are all hurrying to complete outstanding property deals before a hike in stamp duty is implemented next Friday.
‘It’s been really chaotic, but the real problems will be today,’ claims Rob Hailstone of the Bold Legal Group. ‘It’s been ridiculously busy. Buyers have been saying they want to rush it through, because they don’t want to pay the surcharge.’
The 3% stamp duty surcharge is being applied to anyone in England buying a house which is not their main residence, and Scottish equivalent ‘Land and Buildings Transaction Tax’ will also be subject to an increase.
Despite the deadline being given as midnight on Sunday, the practical deadline is actually late afternoon Thursday when the banks close, causing buy-to-let professionals to become somewhat frantic.
President of the National Association of Estate Agents, Martin Baum, said ‘it’s been a busy crazy day.’
‘We’ve all got a bottleneck, and a huge amount of deals before the deadline. I’ve heard of estate agents and conveyancers staying open till 10pm, and then opening again at 5am this morning.’