By Lava Taha, Solicitor, Penman Sedgwick LLP

Conveyancers and others working in the residential property market have had a challenging time in 2020/21, working through the various lockdowns, and dealing with the huge transactional pressures that came with the SDLT holiday. Added to this is the ‘race for space’, triggered by the shift towards working from home. We have seen huge growth in the housing market during this period – house prices in 2021 have shown the fastest growth for 15 years.

The SDLT holiday that had been introduced in July 2020 had encouraged many owners to bring forward their house purchase to avoid additional tax, but this concession came to an end on 30 September 2021. The property market has not shown much sign of slowing down since then, but (at the time of writing anyway) it remains to be seen what impact the recent interest rate rise will have – and any further interest rate rises that may follow in 2022. 

The impact of Covid-19 is continuing to cause insecurity in the property market, especially as a result of the surge in cases flowing from the Omicron variant. If you are concerned about the impact of Covid on your conveyancing contract we can help you settle contract terms which allow the parties to defer completion dates more easily if completion needs to be delayed, plan your move safely and deal with potential issues should a party be impacted by the virus.

A return to a more stable path in 2022 may be welcomed by many who have experienced issues resulting from the overloaded conveyancing process over the last year or two. Managing our clients’ expectations about the timescale of their transaction is very important, but difficult at times when there are so many factors that could delay a transaction which are outside the control of the conveyancer: the time it takes to obtain searches, secure a mortgage offer, and delays in the chain being the most significant.

If you are looking for legal advice, we can help. Email or call 01923 225 212