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Property market backlog causes 5.6 month homebuyer wait time

Across England and Wales, many homebuyers have made use of the stamp duty holiday. The land tax discount encouraged many to move in time for the end of June deadline.

Estate agent comparison site, GetAgent.co.uk, reveals the length of time it is taking to complete house sales. Using data from online portals and property sales records, GetAgent.co.uk is able to provide this information. By cross-referencing the sale with the Land Registry, they can reveal the time taken as a result of the market backlog.

The research shows the average property is taking 274 days to sell from the point of listing online to being finalised by the Land Registry. The property advertising process and finding a buyer takes 118 days. The remaining 156 days are needed for the property to go through the conveyancing process and complete. Overall, this amounts to over five and half months.


In the North East, this time currently averages 172 days, followed by the South West (166 days), East Midlands (165 days), and London (159 days. These findings show it takes around six months to complete the final stages of a sale.

East of England had the longest market delays. In the region, transactions are taking six and a half months to complete.

Founder and chief executive officer of GetAgent.co.uk, Colby Short, says: ‘The stamp duty holiday has been a great incentive to coax many homebuyers out of their Covid boltholes and into the market, but this huge influx of buyer demand has had its consequences. The industry has struggled to cope and none more so than the conveyancing industry whose failure to keep pace has led to a huge build-up of transactions and very lengthy delays at the back end of the transaction process.’

‘While the industry is working tirelessly across the board to address the current backlog, it really does highlight how the home buying and selling process in the UK is built on some pretty archaic practices. It also takes a reasonable amount of time for the Land Registry to register a sale once all the hard work is done, so this also adds more time to an already lengthy process.’

Colby concludes: ‘While the advent of technology has helped to a certain degree, there’s still a lot of work to be done to bring the process up to scratch for both the consumer and those working to serve them.’


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