what do agents need to keep an eye out for in the second half of 2021

Revealed – what do agents need to keep an eye out for in the second half of 2021?

House SaleReal Estate

The first half of the year was a busy one for estate agents, with the third national lockdown in January not affecting a booming property market fuelled by the ongoing stamp duty holiday and positive conditions for buyers and sellers alike.

But what will the remaining months of 2021 bring, and how can agents ensure they are flexible and dynamic enough to cope with any possible dips in the market?

The end of the stamp duty holiday

The big one for agents to keep their eye on, as one of the major contributors to the recent market boom finally comes to a complete close on September 30. From October 1, the nil rate threshold for stamp duty will return to pre-Covid levels of £125,000.

From July 2020 to the end of June this year, the stamp duty holiday applied to all homes worth up to £500,000. From July 1, the phasing out began, with the nil rate threshold falling to £250,000 until September 30.

There is expected to be another stamp duty rush before the holiday comes to a close, although this may less manic than before the previous deadlines. After this, there is likely to be a small market dip and an increase in fall-throughs and chain collapses, which agents may want to prepare for in advance.

We know the stamp duty holiday ending has been baked into the market for some time already, and is not the only thing driving activity and momentum, but it seems inevitable that such a major initiative ending will have some impact – even if only temporary – and therefore agents might need a plan B to prevent too many sales falling through at the crucial stage.

The Tory Party conference

The Conservative Party conference will take place in Manchester between October 3-6. Having been held virtually last year, this year’s event will be held online and in-person, assuming the situation at that time allows for it.

From a property point of view, agents may want to keep a close eye on the conference for an idea of the government’s plans when it comes to housebuilding, stamp duty, new and existing housing schemes, capital gains tax and agency regulation.

There is usually at least one stand-out housing policy announced during party conference season – last year it was the early sketching out of the First Homes scheme – and this year should be no different.

Agents may also want to keep a close eye on the Labour and Liberal Democrat conferences – taking place in Brighton in late September and online in mid-September respectively – to understand what the opposition parties have planned for property. 


Described as the Oscars of the property world, the ESTAS is a long-running awards bash which takes place every year to celebrate the great and the good of the industry.

It was forced to take place online last year, for obvious reasons, but is slated to take place in person – as one of the first major in-person property events since the pandemic – in October this year at the prestigious Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane.

The glittering awards ceremony is hosted by TV property royalty Phil Spencer. This year, in a unique industry first, the ESTAS will bring together the UK’s best agents, conveyancers and brokers together under one roof, rather than having separate events for agents and mortgage/law firms. 

The event organisers say the event – taking place on October 22 – will be a unique opportunity for the UK’s best property professionals to network, share ideas and celebrate together.

The ESTAS Forum will take place the morning of the awards – an event for owners and directors of agencies, conveyancers and mortgage brokers – followed by the traditional ESTAS Customer Service Awards, which are voted for by customers. 

Given its status as one of the first major property events to take place since Covid began, it is sure to be a joyful, emotional and momentous night for all those involved.

The need for plan B alternatives

While the property market is currently enjoying record high levels of demand and record high asking prices, there remain big challenges too – particularly when it comes to working through a huge backlog of transactions.

Conveyancers, surveyors, mortgage brokers and agents have been struggling to keep up with unprecedented levels of demand. Although there are no signs that this will diminish anytime soon – with Zoopla recently predicting that there will be some 1.52 million transactions in total this year, and Savills anticipating at least 1.6 million – the current levels of market activity and price rises can’t last forever, and it seems certain the market will level off and correct itself slightly at some point.

At this stage, which could come at the end of this year or the early parts of next year, we could start to see more issues with chains collapsing and house sales falling through. We already know that, in a normal market, the fall-through rate is alarmingly high, so it falls upon all in the industry to improve these statistics and enhance the homebuying and selling process for all parties.

Here at HBB Solutions, we can help agents offer a plan B when it comes to chains collapsing and house sales falling apart. You can find out more information here or by calling 01509 680 065.

If you want to get a quick idea of what we’ll offer then you can use our online calculator, and you can request an offer directly from our website via our online form.