Efforts are being made to persuade Mr Sunak to extend the Stamp Duty holiday, which is worth up to £15,000 per property.
If this does not work, buyers worried about completing on or after 1 April 2021 could take the keys or pay 90% of the price before 1 April 2021, which would then give them the benefit. For many this will probably be unrealistic, but it might work for some.
For buyers of new-build flats, it may be possible to ‘lock in’ the holiday (legitimately) by paying the first instalment of ground rent before 1 April 2021.
The Act that introduced the Stamp Duty holiday already extends the holiday to buyers that “substantially perform” the sale contract before 1 April 2021. For some (e.g., off-plan flat-buyers) this might be worth considering. Retaining the (up to) £15,000 saving might outweigh the negative cash flow cost of paying the tax before completion.