Demand for Chain-Free Transactions Climbs as Buyers Attempt to Dodge the Market Backlog

Demand for Chain-Free Transactions Climbs as Buyers Attempt to Dodge the Market Backlog
Jul 28 , 2021

Demand for Chain-Free Transactions Climbs as Buyers Attempt to Dodge the Market Backlog

Research from the homebuying platform, YesHomebuyers, has found that demand for chain-free properties has climbed across the UK’s major cities as many homebuyers look to minimise current market delays for a fast property purchase.

A chain-free sale is thought to reduce conveyancing times from around 12 to 4 weeks, which has become particularly sought after in the current market due to many property transactions delaying months on end at the final legal stages.

Currently across the UK, 56%of all chain-free homes for sale have already been snapped up by buyers hoping to skip the current market bottleneck, and the research by Yes Homebuyers shows that in some cities, this has increased considerably in just two months.

When comparing buyer demand for chain-free transactions between March and June alone, demand across the UK has climbed by 6 %. However, in Cambridge, chain-free property demand has increased by 10% since March alone.

Swansea has also seen a notable increase in the number of buyers snapping up chain-free homes, with demand climbing 9%.

In Southampton and Liverpool, chain-free demand is up 8% since March, with Bournemouth (7%), Sunderland (7%), Edinburgh (6%), Leeds (6%), Bristol (6%) and Newcastle (6%) also seeing some of the most significant uplifts.

So, where presents the best opportunity of snagging a chain-free transaction? Chain-free stock levels have dropped across 17 of the 26 major UK cities analysed by Yes Homebuyers, and Glasgow is home to the lowest level, with just 6% of all homes listed for sale marked as chain-free.

However, half of all for sale stock currently on the market in Belfast is chain-free, while in Manchester and Cambridge, chain-free stock levels sit at 47%. Sheffield is also home to a large degree of chain-free stock at 45%, as is Liverpool (44%).

Matthew Cooper, founder and managing director of Yes Homebuyers, commented: “Many homebuyers have now accepted the fact that a stamp duty holiday saving is no longer on the cards, but that they will have to contend with the long market delays that have materialised as a result of the initiative. In this respect, a chain-free purchase will, at least, provide some hope of reducing the transaction timeline, and so it comes as no surprise that their popularity has increased substantially in many major UK cities. Of course, the downside to this high demand is that chain-free stock levels have dropped across most cities in recent months, although some do present a far better chance of finding one than others.”

Table shows current demand for chain-free properties in each city and the change between March and June 2021

Data sourced from Rightmove and Zoopla

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Table shows current level of chain-free property stock in each city and the change between March and June 2021

Data sourced from Rightmove and Zoopla

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Has the Stamp Duty Holiday Finished?

From 1st July, there will be a staggered return to previous stamp duty rates, with the nil-rate band lowered from £500,000 to £250,000 until the end of September. From 1st October, it will return to £125,000.

The amount of stamp duty tax you’ll need to pay depends on a wide range of factors, including how much you pay for the property, the location of the property, whether you have a UK passport, when you buy and whether you’re a first-time buyer. It also depends on whether you’re buying a main home, a holiday home or an investment property.

Use Rightmove’s stamp duty calculator to work out how much you will pay based on the changes.

30th September 2021: You must complete a property purchase by 30th September to benefit from the staggered extension of the stamp duty holiday rates.

1st October 2021: Stamp duty rates are due to return to the levels which were in place prior to 8th July, 2020. You can check the rates here.

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