Get in line – 5.6 month delay to sale completion

Research suggests that homebuyers face a long wait to completion on property sales due to the current market backlog.

Homebuyers across the nation are likely to be stuck in a completion queue almost six months long, according to

The estate agent comparison site claims property sales are taking longer to process because of long delays at the back end of the selling timeline caused by heightened levels of buyer demand during the Stamp Duty holiday.

The data reveals that the average property is taking 274 days to sell from the point of being listed on portals to being marked as completed by the Land Registry. Over half of this time (156 days) is taken up by the legal and conveyancing process after the offer is accepted and the property removed from the market.

Completion delays are currently longest in the East of England, with the second half of the sales process taking 182 days. Those buying in Wales and Yorkshire & Humber can expect the shortest completion times after the listing is removed – 129 and 139 days respectively.


Table shows the current time line for a property transaction across England and Wales
LocationTotal time to sell from first listing to sale registered with Land RegistryTime between first listing and removal from the portalTime between leaving the portal and registration with Land Registry (days)Time between leaving the portal and registration with Land Registry (Months)
East of England2971161826.5
North East2881161726.1
South West2851191665.9
East Midlands262971655.9
North West2691161535.4
South East2641151495.3
West Midlands region2531071465.2
Yorkshire and the Humber2531141395.0
England and Wales2741181565.6


Colby Short, founder and CEO of, commented: “The Stamp Duty holiday has been a great incentive to coax many homebuyers out of their Covid boltholes and into the market, but this huge influx of buyer demand has had its consequences.

“The industry has struggled to cope and none more so than the conveyancing industry whose failure to keep pace has led to a huge build-up of transactions and very length delays.

“As a result, the average homebuyer can expect a timeline of five to six months before they can complete, and that’s once they’ve accepted an offer.”

The research follows numerous developments in digital technology that aims to speed up property transaction times, but Short believes certain practices remain ‘archaic’.

He added: “While the industry is working tirelessly across the board to address the current backlog, it really does highlight how the home buying and selling process in the UK is built on some pretty archaic practices. It also takes a reasonable amount of time for the Land Registry to register a sale once all the hard work is done, so this adds more time to an already lengthy process.”

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