Record High House Sales Recorded In UK

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The rush of buyers in the UK housing market has continued, as estate agents and conveyancers work through a significant demand for properties.

The amount of buyers working towards completing a sale is around 418,000, according to the Zoopla house price index.

That is 140,000 more than is usually seen and an unprecedented demand at a time when house sales typically tend to slow down.

This demand has also increased the average house price to £219,800. For Forest Hill estate agents, the average house price is over £536,000, up £27,000 on the previous year.

​Success And Challenges

The increase in demand has come from several places but has been catalysed by a stamp duty holiday which took effect in July.

This, combined with the pent-up demand caused by a national lockdown, as well as people who are now working from home or in new jobs relocating away from commuter routes, has led to a constant demand that has continued to break records in the housing market.

The catalyst, however, has also caused some challenges for the house buying process. A hard time limit means that buyers and sellers wish to complete a sale quickly.

However, the process is facing the strain of the demand, which is increasing the time it takes for the sale to complete and keys to be handed over.

Conveyancing processes, which require the assistance of a range of organisations including the Land Registry and the Local Authority, have been inundated by a wide range of requests, which has meant more delays for a time-critical process.


The key bottleneck for an effective sale and the reason why the average time for a house to go to market and the sale to be completed is around 100 days is the conveyancing process.

Conveyancing is a complicated legal procedure that ensures that the buyer can legally buy the house, the seller can legally sell the house, and that when the buyer completes the sale he owns the house completely.

Property law is focused less on the building itself but on the land it is built on, and as land ownership laws are based as much on local and historic laws and statutes as anything else, there is a range of complexities that can get in the way of a sale.

 For example, some houses are subject to chancel fees, where liabilities from the medieval age have carried over and pay for things like church repairs.

Other queries include checking for flood risks and whether there are public drains on the property. Mining searches, especially in Cornwall, can be another search that needs to be undertaken before the contracts are signed.

As a result of the sheer amount of queries to make, the conveyancing process is almost always undertaken by a qualified legal expert in the field.

All of these queries are a two-way process, however, and the best way to speed up the process as a buyer is to make sure any documents that are required of them are ready and available, removing the potential for delays in that aspect.