Homebuying process speeds up by 27 days says Rightmove

Homebuying process speeds up by 27 days as conveyancing logjam eases – but it is still longer than pre-pandemic

  • It takes just over four months on average to get through conveyancing process 
  • The sale process was taking almost a month longer during the summer
  • Average time between 2017 and 2019 was three and a half months


The amount of time it takes for a property transaction to complete is down 27 days on average, new figures show.

Home movers had been dealing with an average five-month during the summer, according to Rightmove.   

It now takes a little over four months – or 127 days – to get through the conveyancing process.

It is a drop of 27 days, from 154 days in July, when there was a backlog of cases following the end of the stamp duty holiday at the end of June.

Speeding up: Rightmove says it now takes 127 days to get through the conveyancing process – down from 154 days in July

The average time between 2017 and 2019 was three and a half months, or 104 days, according to the property portal, suggesting conveyancing times are still off a full recovery

However, it added that the time to find a buyer is an all-time low of 37 days nationally, meaning the total time sellers should be allowing is five and a half months.

The property website predicts that by the end of this year, one and a half million homes will have been sold across Britain. It would be the highest number 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 1.2million transactions. 

It said that there are a further 300,000 home movers who are likely to make it through the conveyancing process in time to complete this year. 

This is based on the average time of 127 days from a sale being agreed until completion.

And there are another 250,000 home movers currently going through the legal process and are likely to complete in early 2022, it added.

By contrast, in October 2019, there were 150,000 home movers going through the legal process who completed in 2020.

By the end of this year, one and a half million homes will have been sold across Britain, according to estimates by Rightmove

By the end of this year, one and a half million homes will have been sold across Britain, according to estimates by Rightmove

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 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, of Rightmove, said: ‘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 1.1 million and 1.2 million, 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.’

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