Lenders and conveyancers under pressure as UK property sales rise


There are 50% more sales in the pipeline right now compared to this time last year. As buyers and sellers continue to push ahead, how will those working in the UK property industry keep up?

The past few months have seen unprecedented demand across the country’s housing market. The latest report from Zoopla reveals there are currently 140,000 more sales in the pipeline than usual for this time of year. This is 50% higher than in 2019 as people move quickly to secure purchases post-lockdown.

On average, it takes around 100 days to complete an agreed sale. According to Zoopla, the fact that there are so many more sales in the pipeline right now than normal means buyers should factor this into their decision-making.

“Most sales agreed in the final quarter of a calendar year will complete by the end of the first quarter of the next under normal market conditions,” says the report.

“However, 54% of sales agreed in January will complete by the end of the first quarter, falling to less than a fifth in February.”

Clock is ticking

Zoopla estimates that there is around £112bn worth of property – 418,000 homes – in the process of selling right now. Many of the buyers and sellers involved are hoping to complete by Christmas, or Q1 2021.

Anyone who doesn’t take action on a UK property by the end of January could face delays, says the property portal.

“They should find an agent well before Christmas and instruct a conveyancer to get as much paperwork together as possible to boost the chances of a sale,” says the report.

However, there is evidence that demand is finally beginning to slow down. Over the past few weeks, new buyer enquiries have fallen to pre-Covid levels. However, they are still 46% higher than they were at the end of 2019. This shows the huge appetite still present in the market.

Looking ahead

The stamp duty holiday has spurred on a number of additional property transactions. While this may skew the figures the short-term, the surge in activity is likely down to more factors.

Many movers are being spurred on by other favourable conditions such as high levels of property for sale. The Zoopla report shows levels of sales inventory are currently around 18% higher than a year ago.

The report adds: “More supply brings greater choice for buyers and will act to keep house price growth in check. Much of this supply is also at higher average sales prices than a year ago creating something of a risk to future sales volumes should demand weaken materially in the first half of 2021.”

Low mortgage rates are another draw for many, particularly UK property investors. This is tied in with extremely low savings rates, making real estate an even more popular asset class right now. Lifestyle changes and work-life balance adjustments are also a catalyst for people buying and selling.

The end of the year will see many of the sales currently in the pipeline come to fruition. The additional volumes could cause delays for agents, valuers and conveyancers, though.

Zoopla concludes: “The stamp duty deadline will focus the minds of committed movers in the near term and make for a strong first quarter of sales completions in 2021. The outlook for the remainder of 2021 is less certain and we consider the outlook for the year ahead in more detail in next month’s index report.”

Highgrove Mews

High Net Yield Freehold Houses

  • Commutable to London (27 mins to central Paddington station)
  • Rental demand extremely strong with large industry presence in Reading
  • Freehold with 4% net yield

£284,955 - £457,000

St Petersgate – Stockport Manchester

New Launch - Stockport Manchester, apartments from £160,000

  • Discounted launch prices from £160,000
  • Excellent transport links with 3 trains per hour to London Euston and only 9 mins journey to Manchester Piccadilly
  • Experienced development team

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

  • Assured rent & no rental voids
  • Tenant damage cover & newly refurbished inline with requirements of a corporate sitting tenant
  • Free property and lettings management

From £62,000

Emerging Birmingham Commuter Town With Properties From Just £104,000

The emerging Birmingham commuter town where properties are selling in an average of just 24 days

  • A collection of 62 two bedroom apartments and 28 one bedroom apartments.
  • DE14 is one of the fastest selling postcodes in the West Midlands.
  • 23 minute train journey into Birmingham New Street Station.

Properties from £104,000

Mill, Stockport

The Northwest's emerging property hotspot

  • Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000
  • Completion date - Q4 2021
  • Rental yields - 6% plus

Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000

South Central – Birmingham City Centre Apartments

Highly anticipated 28 storey launch in Birmingham City Centre with an impressive roof garden and communal facilities.

  • 154 units across 28 storeys
  • Residential multi-media community room, gym, roof garden and sky cinema
  • Excellent future connectivity via the metro system to other key transport hubs and locations around the city

from £205,800


Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today: 

+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT

+852 9865 4446

Open from 9am-6pm HKT

Stamp Duty Calculator


Unlock members only investment opportunities and full development details. Join now – it’s free, quick and easy.


Not a member? Sign up for free

Lenders and conveyancers under pressure as UK property sales rise


By submitting your details via this online form you agree to be contacted via email/phone/SMS by Direct Marketplace Ltd t/a BuyAssociation in relation to property investment and property developments . We do not share your personal details with third parties.  To view our full Privacy Policy click here.