Nearly three-quarters (73%) of home buyers this year so far have been chain-free, according to analysis.
This is up from just over two-thirds (69%) of buyers who were not part of a housing chain last year.
Selling to a chain-free buyer is often a preferred option for sellers looking to speed up a sale and reduce the chances of it falling through as the sale does not hinge on other house sales successfully going through.
Roughly speaking, for every 10 homes sold so far in 2022, only three of those buyers will bring a home on to the market to sell, creating a chain
Aneisha Beveridge, Hamptons
Estate agent Hamptons, which used its own data for the research, said it currently takes the average chain-free buyer 91 days to exchange after having an offer accepted – 20 days quicker than a buyer who had a property to sell.
Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, said: “The current pace of the market has put buyers with a home to sell at the back of the queue.
“In a fast-paced market such as today, over three-quarters of sellers had multiple offers on the table to choose from.
“And given chain-free buyers tend to complete quicker and sales are less likely to fall through, they are fast becoming the preferred option for sellers.
“However, chains serve an important role in the market, helping people move up and down the housing ladder.
“And it’s second and third steppers (moving up the steps of the property ladder) alongside downsizers who rely on the capital raised from the sale of their home for their next purchase who are finding it particularly tough.
“This is also exacerbating the lack of stock given their homes are increasingly being bought by first-time buyers and investors who do not have a property to sell.
“Roughly speaking, for every 10 homes sold so far in 2022, only three of those buyers will bring a home on to the market to sell, creating a chain.”