Stamp duty deadline: Hackney residents have 'lowest chance' of completing purchase

Rows of houses in the UK.

According to Hackney had some of the longest turnaround times for local authority searches, needed when purchasing a new home. - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

With just over three weeks to go until the stamp duty holiday ends, research suggests Hackney people have the lowest chance of completing a purchase in time.  

Analysis by online mortgage broker Mojo Mortgages looked at the average conveyancing times for the purchase of a home, which are often dictated by the time taken for local authority searches to be returned. 

A local authority search is a query into the local area and land where a property for sale resides. They are a vital part of the conveyance process which describes the legal process of transferring property from one owner to another.

The research revealed Hackney Council had the lowest turnaround time for searches in the country, taking more than six months in some cases. 

This slow turnaround time has likely meant many potential home buyers in Hackney will miss out on the the stamp duty holiday which ends on June 30.

From that date the threshold when buyers must start paying the tax will drop to £250,000 until September 30 and then return to normal levels from October 1. 

Richard Hayes, CEO at Mojo Mortgages, said: "Although these times are average and theoretical, they do help people realise how long things can take, and how tight it could be.

"If they do think they are at risk, it's really important they speak to their conveyancer about no-search indemnity insurance."

The tax break was aimed at helping buyers whose finances were impacted by Covid and to boost the UK property market affected by lockdown.

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The level at which stamp duty had to be paid was raised from £125,000 to £500,000 in July last year, providing home buyers with thousands of pounds in savings for purchases completed during the holiday. 

Meanwhile, local authorities such as Ashfield District Council in Nottingham had the shortest wait times for returning searches, just five days on average. 

This has means total conveyancing times in Ashfield lasted on average 10 weeks, a short wait compared with Hackney's 45 weeks. 

It is not known if last year's cyber attack on council services has affected turnaround for searches. 

Hackney Council was contacted for comment.