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Revealed: The slowest councils to complete property searches

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The race to hit the stamp duty holiday deadline is on and every day counts.


The Stamp Duty holiday deadline is looming, and thousands of buyers are trying to get their purchase over the line by 30th June.

But the process can be held up by many factors, from delayed mortgage offers to broken property chains.

One common pressure point is the local authority search, which falls under the legal process of buying a property, and can take a long time, depending on where you are buying.

Now one mortgage broker has revealed the areas where prospective homebuyers could face long delays awaiting official local authority searches (although they could save time using a personal local authority search agency rather than going direct to the council).

How long does conveyancing take?

Online mortgage broker Mojo Mortgages said the average conveyancing times across the country (not including the property searches) is nine weeks (according to the HomeOwners Alliance). It then looked at the turnaround times for searches to work out the average conveyancing timescales across the country.

Those buying a property in Hackney could face official local authority search delays of more than six months (180 working days), with Havering (90 working days) and Dorset Council (70 working days) also reporting slow turnaround times.

At the other end of the scale, Ashfield District Council in Nottinghamshire had the quickest turnaround time for searches (five working days).

Bassetlaw, East Devon and Norwich City Council can also turnaround searches quickly, taking just six working days.

Richard Hayes, CEO at Mojo Mortgages, said: “The Stamp Duty holiday, and the savings of up to £15,000 that come with it, has helped thousands of people buy new homes.

“The recent extension is good news for the many thousands of buyers still currently worried they would miss these savings, however with just eight weeks to go until the deadline there will be many wondering if they are going to complete on time, with conveyancers doing all they can to keep clients happy.

“If they think they are at risk, it’s really important they speak to their conveyancer about no-search indemnity insurance.”

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