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Conveyancing problems lengthen transactions by 29%

Stacked conveyancers and local councils struggling to deal with a huge pipeline of house sales are to be blame, says Movewise.

Nigel Lewis

conveyancing delays

Sales agents and their customers have been complaining bitterly about conveyancing delays for months now but until now no one has put a figure on the delays.

These are conveyancing delays caused, it is commonly agreed by most industry experts, by the current Stamp Duty holiday for homes under £500,000 due to end on 31st March.

Sales progression platform Movewise says its research reveals that properties are currently taking 29% longer to sell from offer to completion as the conveyancing logjam holds sales up.

Contentious claim

The company has also made the contentious claims that ANY properties that went under offer from late November are ‘unlikely’ to complete before the Stamp Duty holiday ends.

That will depend on where a property is located – those in Scotland are taking 37% longer to reach completion at 96 days and 32% longer in the North East at 115 days.

Time to exchange

Nationally, hold-ups with property searches and conveyancers dealing with a backlog of cases, has seen the average time to exchange contracts once an offer has been accepted, increase from 96 to 124 days.

Movewise’s data is based on examining nearly half a million recent transactions and comparing those completed six months ago with those progressing more recently.

This confirms there’s a bottleneck in the conveyancing process as councils struggle to handle the level of property searches being requested and conveyancers drown under an increased workload.

Movewise also analysed the time to sell from a property being listed to contracts being exchanged.

Comparing transactions over the past 30 days vs 180 days, the average time was 160 days compared to 127 days – a  26increase.

January 29, 2021

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