Rightmove is warning of a conveyancing log-jam that may delay sales, despite the ongoing frenzy of activity and faster transactions for some kinds of properties in some locations.
“The conveyancing log-jam created by the [lockdown] pause and subsequent market surge means that people thinking of coming to market really need to do so in September or early October if they want to have a chance of completing with enough time to beat the stamp duty deadline” explains the portal’s analyst, Miles Shipside.
“Six months may seem like a while away now but getting your property ready to sell, finding an agent, marketing the home, finding a buyer and then going through the conveyancing process doesn’t leave much time for any unexpected delays along the way, especially if you’re in a chain.”
His warning comes despite new figures from his portal saying that one in seven homes sold by estate agents since the stamp duty holiday was announced on July 8 have sold within a week, compared to one in 10 during the same time last year.
Three-bedroom semi-detached homes are most likely to sell quickly, with one in five going within a week across the UK as a whole - and make that one in three in Scotland.
The portal’s figures are based on an analysis of 200,000 properties that sold between July 8 and August 31.
As has become the norm these days, the slowest market is in London where only one in nine homes sold within the first week - although this, too, is up on the 2019 figure of one in 20.
“Not only are more properties selling in the current market than at any time over the past 10 years, but many sellers are finding that demand for homes following lockdown and the rush to beat the stamp duty deadline means they’re achieving a quicker sale, but only if they’ve been priced correctly” continues Shipside.
”Not every home sells, but those that are well presented by agents, are on at the right price, or are just lucky enough to be in demand are among a record number of homes selling within the first week of coming to market since we started tracking this data 10 years ago.”