Property News

Demand for chain-free property transactions climbs in UK cities

Em Morley - June 15, 2021

Demand for chain-free properties has climbed across the UK’s major cities, according to research from the homebuying platform YesHomebuyers.

The research has found that 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 weeks 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.

Chain-free buyer demand in the UK

Currently across the UK, 56% of all chain-free homes for sale have already been bought by buyers looking to skip the current market bottleneck. 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, demand across the UK has climbed by 6%. However, Cambridge has seen chain-free property demand increase 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.

Chain-free property hotspots in the UK

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 & Managing Director of Yes Homebuyers, comments: “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.”

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%10%
Swansea59%9%
Southampton59%8%
Liverpool52%8%
Bournemouth65%7%
Sunderland56%7%
Edinburgh21%6%
Leeds65%6%
Bristol71%6%
Newcastle49%6%
Newport67%5%
Plymouth71%5%
Portsmouth67%5%
Nottingham63%4%
Manchester36%4%
Bradford53%4%
Cardiff51%4%
Aberdeen4%3%
Glasgow18%3%
London40%3%
Birmingham46%3%
Sheffield66%3%
Oxford42%2%
Belfast59%2%
Leicester49%2%
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)
Belfast50%
Manchester47%
Cambridge47%
Sheffield45%
Liverpool44%
Southampton43%
Bristol42%
Oxford42%
Portsmouth41%
Plymouth41%
Birmingham41%
Cardiff41%
Nottingham40%
Leicester39%
Sunderland39%
Bournemouth39%
United Kingdom36%
Newcastle36%
London35%
Leeds34%
Swansea31%
Bradford31%
Newport23%
Aberdeen13%
Edinburgh9%
Glasgow6%
Data sourced from Rightmove and Zoopla