It’s a busy time in the housing market as the second stamp duty deadline of the year has led to an ongoing stampede of would-be buyers attempting to get their purchases over the line before the purchase incurs a bigger tax bill.
According to the latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs, in May there were 103,100 property purchases, up by an incredible 138% on the same point last year. Of course, last May was far from an ordinary time for any of us, but even looking at the market at this time of year when there hasn’t been a global pandemic, it’s been far busier than usual. Only once in the last decade has more purchases taken place in May, and that was back in 2014.
What’s more, speak to any intermediary and it’s clear that the desire to purchase isn’t going to suddenly disappear the moment this first stamp duty deadline passes. There is a strong desire to get on with buying homes even after the end of June.
Every case is different
It’s easy to bracket all of the activity within the market at the moment as simply purchase cases. After all, the bulk of a broker’s workload today will be with clients looking to get their hands on a new property.
But that’s an awfully simplistic way of viewing what is in reality a far more complex workload. As advisers know only too well, no two purchase cases are ever the same, and their current roster of clients who are looking to buy a new property may be in radically different positions, and buying for different purposes.
For example, some of those purchases may be council tenants looking to take ownership of their council property by making use of the Right to Buy scheme. Or they may be first-time buyers who are unable to purchase the property in its entirety and so instead are taking the shared ownership route onto the housing ladder.
Other first-time buyers may be able to take full ownership of a property, but are utilising the Help to Buy scheme in order to do so, while there is also the full gamut of investors also trying to get their purchases over the line before the next Stamp Duty holiday deadline appears on the horizon.
As a result, intermediaries may be juggling clients looking to add to their portfolios through a straightforward buy-to-let deal with those who are instead looking at a limited company purchase as the best way to expand their portfolios.
Working with specialists
The reality is that each of those cases will have their own complications and quirks, and not just in terms of the ins and outs of the individual mortgage product. The legal side of the purchase, what’s involved in drawing up the contracts and getting things sorted from the various conveyancers, can also be radically different based on the purpose of the purchase and any schemes being utilised as part of that transaction.
It can be easy to rely on the same conveyancers, case after case. But ultimately that lack of specialism can lead to complications down the line.
Intermediaries know that the advice process for a limited company buy-to-let purchase is not the same as the process for advising a first-time buyer on the shared ownership scheme, and it’s a similar situation with conveyancing. That specialist understanding of what’s required not only puts your clients on a surer footing with their purchase, it also reduces the chances of any unexpected hiccups and delays occurring which could put the deal in jeopardy.
At eConveyancer, we’ve spent a lot of time and effort building a comprehensive panel of conveyancers who specialise in each of the various areas of the purchase market, ensuring that no matter what the individual needs of your client are, we have an experienced legal firm on hand able to provide you and that client with peace of mind.
That peace of mind comes from clearer communication about what’s going on too. It’s why we have worked to put the support structures in place to liaise with solicitors whenever necessary on behalf of brokers and their clients, while there is also a dedicated team available to assist with any issues and questions post instruction.
The heightened desire to purchase property looks likely to remain in place for some time. As a result it’s crucial for intermediaries to think carefully about which partner firms they can work with who will ensure those purchases go through without a hitch. After all, delivering a low-stress experience to your clients is a great way to retain them for the long-term, providing a solid foundation for your business in the future.
Karen Rodrigues is sales director at eConveyancer