There are now 704,000 property sales currently going through the conveyancing process across Great Britain, the highest over the past decade, according to the latest data out today from Rightmove.
At the start of the year the sales pipeline across Great Britain stood at 613,000, but the frenzied marketed over the past few months had led to homes being marked as sale agreed at a quicker rate than they are completing.
While there are many buyers who will be trying to make sure they meet the June deadline, new Rightmove research among buyers hoping to buy by this September in England has found that the stamp duty holiday is not the biggest motivator for moving.
Only 29% of this group said they expected to complete in time to make use of the stamp duty holiday. The most common reasons for moving are to move to a bigger home, if someone comes across the right property, relocating to the countryside or the coast, and moving to a home with a garden.
Of those who are expecting to make use of the stamp duty holiday, only 4% said they would abandon their plans completely if they missed either the June or September deadline. Over half (53%) said they would go ahead as planned, one in four (25%) said they would try to renegotiate with the seller, and 13% said they would plan to buy a cheaper home.
Of the 704,000 sales going through, 220,000 were marked as Sold Subject to Contract between July last year and the end of February this year in England and are yet to complete. The current average time from sale agreed to completion is four months.
Of the 220,000, there are 131,000 that are over £250,000, making this group in most urgent need to get their sale over the line before the end of June when the stamp duty holiday drops from properties worth £500,000 or below to £250,000 or below in England.
Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister said: “The easing of restrictions, extended stamp duty holiday, better mortgage availability for first-time buyers, race for space and relocation plans have all combined to create the biggest conveyancing logjam we’ve ever recorded over the past ten years.
“We really hope those who had at least four months to make it through to completion will make it in time to beat the first stamp duty deadline, but with the tapering until September many will still make some savings so all will not be lost. The pace of properties coming on and off the market is also the quickest we’ve recorded, and agents are telling me they have multiple viewings followed by a number of offers within days of a property first appearing on Rightmove.
“At the start of this year we had anticipated a quieter second quarter of the year, but buyer demand and the pipeline has continued at pace, making it an incredibly busy time for agents and conveyancers in many areas right now.”