How much extra are people currently paying for a chain-free property?

Property Reporter
2nd March 2022
Question 709

Fallthroughs are on the rise. During Q3 2021, just 11% of property sales fell through before completion. This figure rose sharply in the final quarter of 2021, returning to a far more usual figure of 34%.

One driving factor behind fall throughs is the dreaded chain, the string of buyers and sellers who must wait until the stars align across their respective transactions before they can all move on with moving home.

However, a sought after chain-free home is one where the only people involved are the buyer and seller and this less complicated arrangement can make selling far easier. In fact, it’s estimated that the conveyancing time alone associated with a chain-free property is cut to just four weeks versus an average of 10 - a 60% time reduction.

Unfortunately, those looking to take advantage of this more certain route to homeownership will have to pay for the pleasure.

HBB Solutions analysed market data across 10 major UK cities and found that on average, a chain free home comes in at £244,928 - £23,131 more than the wider average cost of buying.

Nottingham was home to the highest chain-free property price premium at a huge £47,251, while Liverpool (£46,373), London (£35,438), Glasgow (£20,818) and Newcastle (£17,972) also ranked within the top five.

Forget about paying more for a chain-free property, the first challenge to overcome is finding one and it’s thought just 10% of all property market transactions come without the additional baggage of a chain.

However, the research by HBB Solutions shows that some areas offer a better chance than others and nowhere more so than Manchester, where 26% of the current market stock is listed as chain-free.

Liverpool was also home to a substantial level at 21%, as was Birmingham (20%).

Chris Hodgkinson, Managing Director of HBB Solutions, commented: “The vast, vast majority of transactions that we’re called in to prevent from collapsing are in peril due to problems somewhere along the chain.

"It’s essentially a real-life property themed game of Jenga, where one small hiccup somewhere down the line can scupper the sale of a completely unrelated home.

"It’s an extremely nerve-racking, stressful place to be and so it’s hardly surprising that buyers are willing to pay well above the odds to secure a chain-free home.

"In fact, once you consider the potential time and money saved avoiding potential chain collapses, you’re probably getting a better deal despite paying a higher initial asking price.”

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