Growing numbers of buyers are moving into rented accommodation to ensure they are first in the door when the right property comes onto the market, says Rightmove.
The portal reports home-owners are selling up and renting, pushing the proportion of chain-free properties on the site from 15% to 21% compared with this time last year.
The shift is most marked in London where the percentage of chain-free homes jumped from 12% to 21%. Rental demand was 41% higher in February than last year, with many people choosing to sell up and rent outside the capital.
The number of buyers searching for ‘no chain’ in Rightmove’s keyword sort tool was 72% higher than a year ago as they rushed to make use of the stamp duty savings, says Rightmove’s director of property data, Tim Bannister.
He adds: “Selling chain-free is perhaps something some owners hadn’t considered as a possibility before now, but with the competitive market and stock shortage we currently have, they’re trying to put themselves in a more attractive position when their dream home comes along.”
Guy Gittins, CEO of Chestertons (pictured), says that during the past year there has been a marked increase in the number of people selling without an onward purchase through its London offices.
“One of the most common reasons is that the family house market is incredibly competitive in London and many sellers are willing to break the chain in order to become chain-free buyers and place themselves in the best position to secure a property when the right one comes up,” says Gittins.
The strongest sellers’ market in a decade means that almost two out of three properties on an agents’ books are sold subject to contract, according to Rightmove, although there are signs that new listings have been starting to improve over the past few weeks.