More than half a million UK homes are currently sold subject to contract, according to figures from the property portal Rightmove. This has created a logjam for conveyancing, or the process of transferring the legal title of a house from one owner to another, including the two steps of exchange of contracts and completion.

The portal adds that the average time it takes for agency property to move from ‘sold subject to contract’ to completion is now 150 days, an increase of 44% compared with 2019.

The stats are reported in Rightmove’s House Price Index for this month, and reported on the industry website Estate Agent Today. Rightmove adds that the current situation means that if you’re selling and want to complete by Christmas or the end of this year, you’d need to put your home on the market in the next few weeks.

The index also reveals:

  • Asking prices hit a fifth consecutive record of £368, 614 – representing a 9.7% annual rise albeit a more modest 0.3% monthly one
  • Buyer demand for each property on the market remains 6% higher than in 2021
  • Numbers of homes coming on to the market rose in May – the figure is up by 7% compared with 2021
  • On average, properties remained on the market for around a month, or just 32 days

Rightmove’s Tim Bannister told journalists: “The exceptional pace of the market is easing slightly, which is very much to be expected given the record-breaking numbers of the past two years.

“However, demand is still very high compared to what was once considered normal.”

What Oakfield says

Here at Oakfield Estate Agents, we appreciate that selling a property can be a full-on business, but it certainly doesn’t have to be overly stressful. We work with an outstanding firm of solicitors who we trust, and with whom we’ve forged a great working relationship over a number of years. We’re confident that using them makes for a really smooth sales process. What’s more, we’re always hands-on as sales are progressing, so that things keep moving as briskly as possible.

Our average time from when an offer is accepted to completion is 106 days. Meanwhile, the typical number of days it takes us to find a buyer is 22. So we’re definitely quick workers! But to give yourself the very best chance of a sale and to be moved in to your next home in time for Christmas, get your current property on the market as soon as possible. Equally, use us to be absolutely sure of getting everything done before the year is out.

Get in touch for an initial chat, without charge or obligation.