Can you buy a home before the new Stamp duty holiday deadline?

Steven Sedgwick

4-minute read

Last updated on:

March 4, 2021

Some councils could stop you from saving £1,000s in Stamp Duty due to search delays

Despite the Chancellor announcing a Stamp Duty holiday extension in the Budget, homebuyers in certain areas of the country will really need to get a 'move on' if they are to save thousands.

New research from online mortgage broker Mojo Mortgages, shows that despite it being another 16 weeks until the new June 30th deadline, some local authorities are experiencing massive delays. 

It means that potentially some buyers in places like Hackney and Havering could really struggle as their councils are experiencing 36 and 27-week delays respectively. Some local authorities are right on the 16-week cusp such as Chelmsford and Lewisham, so for anyone looking to purchase property there, every day could matter.

It is Norwich and South Bucks councils who have the speediest local search response in the country at the minute.

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These are only average home buying times based on the delay in local authority search response plus the average conveyancing time suggested by the HomeOwners Alliance.

Every home purchase proceeds at its own speed, but this data does show how quickly people may need to act in order to benefit from the Stamp Duty holiday and save up to £15,000. 

Richard Hayes, CEO of Mojo Mortgages, said:

"The Stamp Duty holiday, and the savings that come with it, has helped thousands of people buy new homes. 

"This extension is good news for the many thousands of buyers still currently worried they would miss these savings, but I just want to let other people know – those who have yet to begin their property hunt – that they may not have as long as they think.

"Although these times are average and theoretical, they do help people realise how long things can take, and how tight it could be – even with a new extension just announced. If they do think they are at risk, it's really important they speak to their conveyancer about no-search indemnity insurance.

"Of course, there is definitely the flip side of the coin where mortgages and conveyancing can get sorted much quicker than you expect. 

"In the last few months, Mojo has helped many people go from mortgage comparison to completion with keys in their hand in around 30 days."

As well as the 3-month extension of the up-to-£500,000 “nil-rate band” until the end of June, no Stamp Duty will be payable on residential property purchases up to £250,000 until 30 September 2021.

Even though that is currently more than 200 days away some councils may still find it difficult to get local searches returned in time.

You can see the full list of local authorities and their current delays here.

When does the Stamp Duty holiday end?

In Scotland the holiday ended back in March, but in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, it ends on June 30th. However, in England and Wales it won't end completely – in fact it will be tapered.

Between July 1st and September 30th, the previous temporary threshold of £500,000 drops to £250,000.

Normal Stamp Duty tiers, thresholds and percentages will be in effect from October.

This means buyers in England and Northern Ireland will still have the chance to make savings if they buy a home before the start of October.

So, how much will you save purchasing a house before September 30th?

Here's how much Stamp Duty you’ll need to pay when buying a home in England or Northern Ireland over the next few months

  • On a £200,000 property you'd pay £0
  • On a £300,000 property you'd pay £2,500
  • On a £400,000 property you'd pay £7,500
  • On a £500,000 property you'd pay £12,500
  • On a £500,000 property you'd pay £17,500

Across all property prices that's a saving of £2,500 – a fair chunk of cash still.