The stamp duty holiday could be thrown into chaos for more than 50,000 homebuyers who risk missing the deadline due to overwhelmed lawyers and mortgage lenders, Zoopla warned.
Those hoping to buy property without paying any tax have until June 30 to do so, provided their new home costs £ 500,000 or less. From July 1, only properties costing £ 250,000 or less will be eligible.
However, tens of thousands of buyers are currently at risk of losing stamp duty holiday if their sales take more than three months to complete, according to Zoopla.
The real estate company has warned that a record number of homes sold in recent months has put extreme pressure on officials involved in processing purchases – putting buyers at risk of having a delayed completion date.
Some 53,500 sales were made in England for properties ranging from £ 250,000 to £ 500,000 between March 8 and April 4, according to his research.
If these sales are delayed by just a few weeks after the standard three month period from the agreed sale until its completion, these buyers will miss the June 30 deadline and therefore the maximum stamp duty holiday of £ 0 of tax.
Grainne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, told the Sunday Telegraph: “High levels of activity in the housing market put pressure on the second half of the selling process.
“Our data shows that the time between listing a property and accepting a sale has decreased compared to more ‘normal’ market conditions between 2017 and 2019, by several weeks in some regions, notably the North-East and the North-West.
“However, the time it takes to go from the agreed sale to the completed sale is taking longer. This is because transport agents, local authorities and mortgage lenders are trying to deal with record sales levels.”