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House sales ‘logjam’ starts to ease with fewer properties changing hands

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Around 550,000 homes across Britain are estimated to be going through the sales process, according to Rightmove (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)
Around 550,000 homes across Britain are estimated to be going through the sales process, according to Rightmove (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)

Around 550,000 homes across Britain are estimated to be going through the sales process, according to a property website.

This is lower than the 700,000 homes changing hands in June, when home-buyers rushed to obtain the maximum discounts available under the stamp duty holiday, which was tapered from July and ended completely from October.

Rightmove said that, with fewer sales now being dealt with, there are also signs that the “logjam” is starting to ease, with the average time from an agreed sale until a completed purchase falling from an average of 154 days in July to 127 days in October.

The good news is that people moving home right now are hopefully seeing quicker conveyancing times than those earlier in the year

Tim Bannister, Rightmove

The website also predicts that, by the end of the year, around one and-a-half million homes will have been sold across Britain.

This would be the highest number of home sales since 2007, 47% higher than in 2020 and 31% higher than in 2019.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: “The good news is that people moving home right now are hopefully seeing quicker conveyancing times than those earlier in the year.

“There’s likely to be a conveyancing rush in December among those people desperately hoping to be able to celebrate the festive period in their new home.

“Since 2014, the number of home sales in a year was pretty consistent at between 1.1 million and 1.2 million, but the effects of the pandemic have disrupted that level this year and we’re likely to end up with the highest number of sales in one year since 2007.

“More people have been relocating, more have moved to bigger homes, and many made use of the stamp duty holidays.

“Demand is still remarkably strong for the time of year and sales are up on this time in 2019, and it seems there’s a new group of people in the market.”

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