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Fifth of house moves delayed by uncleared funds or slow sellers

Some 115,000 house moves are delayed annually because of funds not being cleared on time or because sellers have not vacated their homes as expected according to research from the HomeOwners Alliance.

The consumer group says one or other of these problems caused delays on the moving days for 19 per cent of people who bought their home between 2016 and 2018.

Some 25 per cent of those hit by the delays incurred additional costs of more than £500 on average, with one in seven of them losing more than £1,000 in costs, including removal firms cancellation charges and hourly waiting charges, storage fees, hotel or accommodation costs and late completion charges.


The research comes through the HOA’s analysis of data from moving company Reallymoving, which also shows that Friday August will be the most popular day to move house this year. 

Drawing on a total of 12 years of data, the HOA says August is the most popular month to move, with 12.2 per cent of moves.

Throughout the whole year Friday is of course the most popular day of the week, with 27.7 per cent of moves taking place then, although there are 16.7 per cent on Saturdays and even Sundays attract 5.8 per cent of moves.

Based on figures from the English Housing survey, there were 625,000 owner occupier moves in England in 2016-2017 or approximately 1,700 moves per day. 

On the most popular day of the year, 3.8 times this level (approximately 6,500 moves) are expected. 

Looking at the most popular month and days to move, this translates into 75,000 homeowners moving in the month of August, alone and 175,000 homeowners moving on Fridays over the course of the year. 

“Delays can occur at any time, but issues with transfers of funds are more likely to happen on a Friday when banks, conveyancers and removal firms are stretched to the limit as it’s the time when most housing deals tend to complete. On the last Friday of the month bank money transfers can get overloaded and it’s peak time for conveyancing fraud” says the chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, Paula Higgins.


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