THE CUMBERLAND is warning prospective homebuyers to hurry if they want to save thousands and take advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday.

Aileen Robertson, mortgage product manager at the building society says people need to leave enough time for the application and legal work as homeowners will have to pay stamp duty as normal after March 31.

The rush to meet the deadline is expected to put pressure on the county's housing market in the coming weeks.

From April homebuyers will pay two per cent stamp duty on properties priced between £125,000 and £250,000 and five per cent on those costing between £250,000 and £500,000.

The society said it's well resourced across its network to meet the anticipated demand.

Aileen said: “For us as a lender it is still realistic to be able to deal with applications and get them through our part of the process.

"I think where customers might struggle is with conveyancers and surveyors getting that part of the process done.

“We’ve had feedback from some customers that they are having to wait a bit longer than usual for those types of services, but for us as a lender we are very much open for business and will do our best to push through mortgage applications before the cut off but it is going to start getting quite tight for third parties to play their part in it.”

The building society has ensured it has capacity in branches for mortgages appointments and processing applications.

It has been a busy year for the team already with exceptionally high demand for its 10 per cent deposit mortgages.

This was, in part, due to it being one of the first lenders to reintroduce these products after the first lockdown.

“There could still be a lag from this year when the market closed down completely which could further boost demand.

"So I can see the predictions of an extra 100,000 homes being sold in 2021 would be a reasonable number, but crystal ball gazing is probably not a good idea at the moment.”

For more information go to the building society's website at: