Local authority search services are buckling under the strain of homebuyers trying to beat the stamp duty (SDLT) deadline.
Local Authorities are warning they cannot complete searches in time for home buyers to benefit from the stamp duty holiday which ends on 31 March 2021.
Stamp Duty Holiday
The chancellor raised the stamp duty threshold from £125,000 to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland on the 8 July 2020, causing a surge of activity in the housing market.
Online property website, Rightmove, reported last week that sales agreed in October 2020 were 50 per cent higher than the previous year.
Demand for local searches
The demand for conveyancing services is creating backlogs for law firms, surveyors, and local authorities alike.
Local authority searches include proposals for roads and railways that would affect the property, planning permissions and whether the house stands on contaminated land. Lenders can refuse to give mortgages without the proper paperwork in place.
Some local authorities are taking up to 125 working days to complete search requests for homebuyers. As a result, many are now advising would-be homebuyers to take out indemnity insurance in case they have to complete their purchase before receiving the vital information from their local search.
Breens does not recommend anyone complete on a property purchase before getting all the relevant search data, to do so could prove to be a costly expense. In the long run, saving a few thousand on stamp duty could cost you tens of thousands off the value of your property should you later discover your new home is part of a new bypass proposal, for example.
Southport conveyancing services
Breens is still taking new conveyancing instructions but cannot guarantee you will beat the stamp duty holiday deadline.
Every conveyancing instruction is unique, if you wish to instruct us on a conveyancing matter, please telephone for a no obligation quote.