UK homebuyers told to act fast to beat stamp duty holiday deadline

 UK homebuyers told to act fast to beat stamp duty holiday deadline

Covid restrictions and high demand for mortgages create delays in property process

Brightly coloured terraced houses in Bristol

The broker L&C Mortgages says getting a mortgage is taking about double the normal time.
Photograph: Steve Taylor ARPS/Alamy

Homebuyers who want to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday have been warned to act quickly as high demand for mortgages and coronavirus restrictions are creating delays in the process.

David Hollingworth of brokers L&C said getting a mortgage was taking about double the usual time as lenders struggled with the volume of business, and needed longer to review some applications. “To get a mortgage offer in normal times you are usually looking at a couple of weeks from the application,” he said, “Now you could be expecting it to take at least a month, or possibly longer.”

For self-employed borrowers, for instance, most lenders are looking closely at recent bank statements, instead of two years’ business accounts as previously. “They are essentially underwriting individual cases and they only have so many staff to do that,” he said. In England and Northern Ireland there is currently a stamp duty holiday on homes costing up to £500,000, while in Scotland and Wales the tax-break is for properties costing up to £250,000.

The holiday has helped fuel a housing market that was

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Redak staff

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