Two agencies have entered the debate on whether the current frenzied housing market is seeing delays in completions.
Yesterday EAT reported that Rightmove had noted delays of around a month in the time now being taken from the acceptance of an offer by a vendor, and completion. This may jeopardise some house moves before Christmas and, ultimately, may lead to issues around completing by the ending of the stamp duty holiday next March too.
Two agents have been invoked by Rightmove to bolster the portal’s argument.
“We’re very much having to make our buyers and sellers aware that the conveyancing process is taking longer at the minute; there’s a mixture of fewer council staff working so searches are taking longer, mortgages taking longer to go through, and solicitors being inundated with work” explains Ben Hudson, managing director of Hudson Moody in York.
“We’re having to call everyone involved in the sale constantly to make sure things keep moving” he adds.
And Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, comments: “When the property market experiences unprecedented demand, such as the UK has seen post-lockdown, you can understand how potential logjams can form throughout the transaction process.”
He advises vendors to ensure searches, pre-contract enquiries and contracts are agreed in advance.
And he adds: “It is also worth investigating the delivery time scales of your solicitor – do your research, read reviews from other sellers. The last thing any seller wants is to wait for two weeks for a solicitor to reply to an introductory email so it is worth looking into the availability of online conveyancers if time is of the essence.”
Yesterday Rightmove said there were almost 40 per cent more sales currently in the system than a year go.
“The temporary stamp duty holiday means there’s more urgency than usual for the congestion to be cleared by the end of March, making it vital for buyers and sellers to work closely with their agent and to make sure they’re moving fast to complete a document or answer questions” according to Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data.
“We’d advise that buyers and sellers factor in at least an extra month for the current delays in the process, if possible, as time is already running short for sales that are agreed now to be completed by Christmas.”