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Removals firms struggling to cope as market continues to boom

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Thu 19 Nov 2020

Removals firms struggling to cope as market continues to boom

Trade association BAR says shifting completion dates and sellers looking to exchange and complete on same day are major challenges.

The removals industry is facing an extremely challenging period as firms battle both huge demand for their services and home movers who are struggling to confirm completion dates.

This unprecedented situation has been highlighted to The Negotiator by several key players in the property industry who have said removals firms are the latest to struggle as demand ramps up ahead of the stamp duty holiday deadline.

One of those is Richard Sexton of e-surv who says that, although valuers have now cleared their backlog, he’s aware that removals firms are the latest cog in the system to show strain – largely because they are one of the last players in the chain of events.

bar studdIan Studd (left), Director General of the British Association of Removers, agrees and says his members, like estate agents, are experiencing an extraordinary period of high demand for their services as the housing boom continues, and agrees that this is causing problems.

“No one thought we would be in this position back in April, but like other players in the housing market, removals firms are now having to deal with the huge surge in pent-up demand,” he says.

“Our members are well reasonably booked up in advance for this time of the year, so home movers will face challenges securing a booking.”

Studd says removals companies are seeing two specific problems.

Many home movers being unable to confirm their exchange date, and therefore making it difficult for removals firm to confirm bookings, and others are seeking to exchange and complete on the same day, as buyers and vendors attempt to keep buying chains intact in order to complete before the March 31st 2021 stamp duty holiday cut-off.

Studd says this can be a ‘nightmare’ scenario because it severely shortens the window within which moves can take place down to hours rather than days.

BAR was one of 14 different industry organisations to sign a letter to the Chancellor calling for an extension of the stamp duty holiday deadline.