By Aaron Barry

Since the Government announced a stamp duty holiday there has been a hive of activity in the building sector resulting in a welcome 15.6% increase in property transactions in August. (

The government introduced a temporary stamp duty holiday for residential properties worth up to £500,000 effective from 8 July 2020 until 31 March 2021.

The holiday means nine out of ten people getting on or moving up the property ladder will pay no SDLT at all. This measure delivers an average saving of £4,500 in SDLT per property.

Figures from Building Society’s Association show that there has been a marked uplift in the number of people who say that now is a good time to buy a property – 37% in September compared to 25% in June, whilst figures from Checkatrade show that more than one in ten (11%) of Brits are hoping to have bought a new home by the end of March 2021.


Alas all holidays have to come to an end and the stamp duty holiday ends on 31st March next year – that’s not really a long time to buy, especially if you need to sell your own home in the process.

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher confirmed in October that the Stamp Duty holiday would not be extended, “The temporary increase in the Stamp Duty Land Tax nil rate band was designed to provide an immediate stimulus to the property market, where property transactions fell during the Covid-19 lockdown,” said Pincher.

“The government does not plan to extend this relief and will continue to monitor the property market.”

Therefore property developers are now in a race against the clock to build and sell their plots or could face losing sales if the customer cannot complete before the deadline.


If you want to ensure your sales go through before deadline you will need to make it as simple as possible for the buyer and mitigate any exposure to risk. I expect  that the biggest risk is having a purchaser in a chain – now you are on the hook for other people’s problems over which you have no control.

One solution you may want to consider very seriously is buying the purchaser’s house in part exchange. This achieves the following benefits:

  • There is no chain.
  • You have control of your new plot sale and the customers house sale.
  • Developers typically buy under market value and profit from flipping the purchaser’s property.
  • You can sell off plan and manage the process so that completion takes place the day the plot is ready which could make the difference between hitting or missing the deadline.


The biggest challenge with offering this service is having the cashflow to buy the customers house in part-ex. This is where Specialist Property Finance comes in. Knowing this issue and understanding our developer clients has enabled us to provide a lending service with innovative lenders specifically for this purpose.

The headline features are as follows:

  • Highest Loan to Value features to minimise cashflow pressure.
  • Additional funding for renovations.
  • Up to 24 month term.

The features are intended to help you buy as many part exchange properties as you need, minimising cashflow pressure and maximising profits by:

  • Helping to maintain sales price on plots sold.
  • Providing plenty of time to renovate and sell at the highest price.
  • Reducing cashflow pressure to enable more return on investment on the part exchange property.

Up to when Covid struck this year, the highest loan to value in the market was typically 75% and since then its reduced but we have access to specialist lenders with higher loan to value parameters for property developers in this situation. Meeting this objective is key because the developer will not be able to support part exchange from cashflow.

If you are a developer and need to take control of your situation this could be very useful for you.

At Specialist Property Finance its our role to help and advise the developer navigate through the funding minefield to avoid declines and help the developer obtain the best funding terms and rates to enable them to prosper. All our deal assessments are free and it doesn’t cost anything to find out if you can benefit.