What have we done to prepare?
When the original deadline of March 31st 2021 was set, we made the choice to prioritise pipeline business and the choice served us well. By shifting resources, we were able to deliver significantly higher levels of offers than before and prepare for the imminent peaks in completions.
The Guild of Property Professionals’ asked 1,000 buyers in mid-December what they would do if it looked like their transaction would not complete pre-31st March. Close to a third (31%) said they would pull out. Zoopla said there were currently 418,000 property sales progressing towards completion; extrapolated out that could mean close to 130,000 sales aborted. Rightmove predicted 100,000. In the Spring budget, the government extended the deadline on a tapered basis to June and September of 2021.
Evolving our processes to meet the challenge
Now that the first deadline has shifted back 3 months from March to June, it is the properties of value over £250,000 which will be the more urgent to press through in time for that first tapered tier. Then, of course, we can expect another rush of completions at the end of September of properties over £125,000.
We may also now see a flurry of last-minute buyers trying to squeeze a completely new transaction into the next three months.
As a result, prioritising has become just that little more complicated for all parties, from lenders to brokers to solicitors.
Simplified underwriting and completions
Our aim is of course to ensure we have all the resources, in the right places, in order to do our very best for every borrower. We now accept ‘no search indemnity insurance’ for both purchase and remortgage transactions (excluding HMOs and Multi Unit Blocks), with the policy available in lieu of local authority and/or other searches.
What none of us can do is guarantee a completion by any specific deadline, but hopefully we are able to introduce such measures and do everything we can to take as many cases through to their final destination.
An incredibly busy first quarter just became a very busy first half of the year but I have no doubt it can be a very successful one for the vast majority of clients.
FOR INTERMEDIARIES ONLY