How long YOUR house move will take after huge conveyancing backlog over stamp duty holiday

House prices: Chartered Surveyor discusses impact of lockdown

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Since October 1, stamp duty rates on property transactions in the UK have returned to pre-pandemic rates for the first time since July 2020. While the tax holiday helped one million households save a total of £6.1 billion, thousands more Brits missed out on the huge savings as a result of delays in completion. A week on from the stamp duty end, spoke to the property experts to find out what the future of the market really looks like.

How long will it take to move house?

Moving house is supposedly one of the most stressful period’s of a person’s life.

Not only is it difficult and expensive, but also very time-consuming.

You might have found the house of your dreams, but are now anxiously awaiting completion and exchange – but delays are holding you back from getting your hands on the keys.

Delays to the moving process could be down to a number of factors including legal conveyancing and mortgage applications.


With prices remaining high, properties are subject to higher mortgages and larger deposits which can both take a considerable amount of time to be approved or saved up.

Founder and CEO of, Colby Short told “Borrowing prices are currently over pre-pandemic levels, while mortgage prices are slowly lowering to cater to new customers.

“On average, it could take between two to six weeks for a lender to complete their valuation, underwrite your mortgage and conduct credit checks before approving your mortgage.”


Legal conveyancing is known to be the most time-consuming part of buying a home as it is dependent on the time taken for the local authority to search the property.

Colby said: “You could speed up the process by engaging a personal search organisation, however if your mortgage lender and bank approve your sale without a search being completed, you could face an array of unforeseen costs if you end up facing issues with your new home.”

The full conveyacning process can take anywhere from several weeks to several months.

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According to the Law Society, the average time of completion is currently 12 to 16 weeks.

However, there are a number of issues that can be thrown up – aside from searches – which may mean buyers and sellers facing longer waits before completion and exchange.

Colby added: “You could also expect delays in property transactions on the part of the seller or the legal teams involved, stretching up to 20 weeks or over.”

The length of your wait can also depend on who you’re buying from and who’s buying from you.

This is called a chain. The longer chain, the lengthier the process is expected to be.

The experts at MyConveyancingSpecialist say: “When the chain is relatively small, you can reasonably expect 12 to 15 weeks total and if you’re lucky enough buy or sell a house without any chain, the total time will be closer to 8 weeks.

“Usually the easiest way to move house with no chain is to be a first-time buyer.

“If any problems arise, it can lengthen the time it takes to move house, increasing the time to up to 22 weeks.”

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