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Graham Awards


Conveyancing logjam eases as smaller pipelines speed up moves

The average time for home-movers to get through the conveyancing process has dropped by 27 days since the summer, according to Rightmove. 

The study reveals it is taking just over four months - 127 days to be precise - from a typical sale being agreed until it completes. This is down from five months or 154 days back in July.

The average time between 2017 and 2019 was three and a half months or 104 days; Rightmove says this suggests that “although conveyancing times haven’t fully recovered yet” the time to find a buyer is at a record low of 37 days nationally, meaning the total time sellers should be allowing is five and a half months.


Rightmove predicts that by the end of 2021 some one and a half million homes will have been sold across Great Britain over the year. This would be the highest number of home sales since 2007 - 47 per cent higher than in 2020 and 31 per cent higher than in 2019.

So far this year Rightmove estimates that there have been 1.2m transactions. 

There are a further 300,000 home-movers who are likely to make it through the conveyancing process in time to complete this year, and enjoy Christmas dinner in their new home. This is based on the average time of 127 days from a sale being agreed until completion.

Another 250,000 home-movers are currently going through the legal process and are likely to complete in early 2022. In October 2019 there were 150,000 home-movers going through the legal process who completed in 2020.

The 300,000 expected to complete by the end of this year and the further 250,000 who will likely complete in 2022 means the total number of homes currently changing hands is 550,000. This is over 160,000 more than in October 2019 when the pipeline was 390,000, but lower than the 700,000 back in June this year.


Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data comments: “The good news is that people moving home right now are hopefully seeing quicker conveyancing times than those earlier in the year. There’s likely to be a conveyancing rush in December among those people desperately hoping to be able to celebrate the festive period in their new home. 

“Since 2014 the number of home sales in a year was pretty consistent at between 1.1m and 1.2m but the effects of the pandemic have disrupted that level this year and we’re likely to end up with the highest number of sales in one year since 2007. More people have been relocating, more have moved to bigger homes, and many made use of the stamp duty holidays. 

“Demand is still remarkably strong for the time of year and sales are up on this time in 2019, and it seems there’s a new group of people in the market. 

“Some are considering if they need to be near a station to commute to work, there are down-sizers realising now is a good time to cash in, and first-time buyers have a renewed energy to find their perfect place in busy towns and cities. Sellers thinking about making 2022 their year to move should be starting to get ready to sell, as if they get going now they could be in their new home before spring next year.”

  • Matt Faizey

    And then, after all that thousands every month have their moving day wrecked with late key release.

    When are we going to compile data on the numbers who suffer needlessly with late key release?

    Or, maybe compile data on which firms or practioners cause this misery for thousands?

  • icon

    Smaller pipelines are not good for the industry.

  • Daniel Hamilton-Charlton

    If demand is so strong, agents need to get back up to speed with their skills of getting sellers to disclose their interests. If everyone that had a house to sell never took the leap of faith and showed their hand, no-one would ever find a property to buy.
    The market has been too easy for the last 12 months and many agents believe that they are amazing at selling houses. Now the ones with skills will survive.
    Use Property Logbooks to help with engagement and help sellers better prepare. Tether your brand to your prospects and engage with them. Play the long game if you need to with a dynamic digital logbook. Build, low key marketing chains and make it happen. We are here to help.


    Agents in fast market: 'Aren't we just brilliant at selling houses'

    Same agents in slow market: 'Well, it's just the market you see, nothing we can do about that really'


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