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Hackney buyers unable to complete local authority searches before March 31

Jake Carter

November 23, 2020

Hackney has become the first local authority to outline that homebuyers will be unable to complete their local authority searches before the stamp duty holiday conclusion on March 31, according to The Times.

As a result, homebuyers are being encouraged to take out insurance against their deals failing to complete before the end of the stamp duty holiday.

Hackney has informed buyers that indemnity insurance is needed, with prices starting from £30.

Due to a backlog of demand, numerous local authorities are taking up to 125 working days to complete search requests for homebuyers.

As reported last week, the total number of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) transactions in Q3 2020 was up 68% on Q2, according to HMRC’s quarterly Stamp Duty Land Tax Statistics.

This was attributed to the easing of COVID-19 lockdown measures and the introduction of the stamp duty holiday.

In addition, last week, Melanie Spencer, head of the MCI Club outlined that as the stamp duty holiday deadline nears closer, the question of whether the tax break should be extended for those in active chains has to be asked.

Spencer also pointed to the idea of the holiday being phased out, in an attempt to quell the potential ‘cliff edge’.


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