The clock is already ticking for buy-to-let purchases to go through before the 3% Stamp Duty surcharge is implemented on April 1.
According to one mortgage business, it takes an industry average of 95 days to get a buy-to-let mortgage application completed.
As of today, there are 84 days, suggesting a stressful workload for agents, valuers, conveyancers and the mortage industry
Keystone Buy to Let Mortgages yesterday said it would pull out all the stops as it issued an appeal for brokers to submit applications as soon as possible in an effort to ensure that cases complete in time.
Although it doesn’t guarantee that all purchase cases will complete within this timeframe, Keystone said it will prioritise applications that are submitted by January 29.
David Whittaker, managing director of Keystone, said: “Since the surcharge was announced we have been preparing for an increase in applications, making sure that systems are in place and staff are ready.
“We have also been working closely with our valuers and solicitors to ensure that they too are prepared for what we anticipate will be a very busy period.
“Getting purchase applications over the line before April 1 is our priority.
“It will save borrowers thousands of pounds.
“The deadline will give us a little over eight weeks to take cases from submission to completion.
“In most instances, that will be do-able – even for limited company applications which, because they require a greater underwriting skillset, can take longer to process.”
In addition to submitting cases sooner rather than later, Keystone wants brokers to tell clients how much money can be saved and encourage them to respond promptly to all requests for paperwork and information.
Some agents have told EYE of a rush of buy-to-let deals. However, it would appear that these mainly concern first-time buy-to-let investors, with the more experienced sitting back and waiting for property prices to fall after April 1, when landlord purchasers would factor in the extra Stamp Duty into their offers.