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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 per cent 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 per cent. However, in Cambridge, chain-free property demand has increased by 10 per cent since March alone.

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

In Southampton and Liverpool, chain-free demand is up 8 per cent since March, with Bournemouth (7 per cent), Sunderland (7 per cent), Edinburgh (6 per cent), Leeds (6 per cent), Bristol (6 per cent) and Newcastle (6 per cent) 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 per cent 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 per cent. Sheffield is also home to a large degree of chain-free stock at 45 per cent, as is Liverpool (44 per cent).

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 the majority of cities in recent months, although some do present a far better chance of finding one than others.”

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

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

LocationDemand – chain free (June 2021)Difference
Cambridge60 per cent10 per cent
Swansea59 per cent9 per cent
Southampton59 per cent8 per cent
Liverpool52 per cent8 per cent
Bournemouth65 per cent7 per cent
Sunderland56 per cent7 per cent
Edinburgh21 per cent6 per cent
Leeds65 per cent6 per cent
Bristol71 per cent6 per cent
Newcastle49 per cent6 per cent
Newport67 per cent5 per cent
Plymouth71 per cent5 per cent
Portsmouth67 per cent5 per cent
Nottingham63 per cent4 per cent
Manchester36 per cent4 per cent
Bradford53 per cent4 per cent
Cardiff51 per cent4 per cent
Aberdeen4 per cent3 per cent
Glasgow18 per cent3 per cent
London40 per cent3 per cent
Birmingham46 per cent3 per cent
Sheffield66 per cent3 per cent
Oxford42 per cent2 per cent
Belfast59 per cent2 per cent
Leicester49 per cent2 per cent
Data sourced from Rightmove and Zoopla

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

LocationStock – chain free (June 2021)Difference
Belfast50 per cent3.6 per cent
Manchester47 per cent-0.6 per cent
Cambridge47 per cent-0.3 per cent
Sheffield45 per cent0.2 per cent
Liverpool44 per cent-0.5 per cent
Southampton43 per cent-1.2 per cent
Bristol42 per cent0.6 per cent
Oxford42 per cent-0.9 per cent
Portsmouth41 per cent-1.1 per cent
Plymouth41 per cent0.8 per cent
Birmingham41 per cent2.1 per cent
Cardiff41 per cent-1.3 per cent
Nottingham40 per cent-1.0 per cent
Leicester39 per cent1.4 per cent
Sunderland39 per cent-4.8 per cent
Bournemouth39 per cent1.9 per cent
United Kingdom36 per cent-0.1 per cent
Newcastle36 per cent-2.1 per cent
London35 per cent0.6 per cent
Leeds34 per cent-1.2 per cent
Swansea31 per cent-0.8 per cent
Bradford31 per cent0.0 per cent
Newport23 per cent-4.9 per cent
Aberdeen13 per cent-3.6 per cent
Edinburgh9 per cent-0.9 per cent
Glasgow6 per cent-1.5 per cent
Data sourced from Rightmove and Zoopla


Source: Property Wire

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