A record proportion of homes have been bought by buyers without a home to sell this year, according to Hamptons, which reported on 25 April that, so far in 2022, 73% of all buyers have been chain-free, up from 69% in 2021 and a low of 65% in 2010.
Selling to a chain-free buyer has long been the preferred option for sellers looking to speed up a sale and reduce the chances of it falling through. However, the lack of stock has amplified the advantage chain-free buyers hold as chains become increasingly slow moving. Movers have found it harder to line up their next purchase given there were a third fewer homes available to buy in Q1 2022 compared to Q1 2019. This means sellers are more likely to choose a chain-free buyer than ever before. So far this year 61% of sellers accepted an offer from a chain-free buyer over a buyer with a home to sell, up from 59% in 2021 and 58% pre-Covid in 2019.
Four in five (80%) sellers accepted an offer from a chain-free buyer where they matched an offer from somebody who had a property to sell, up from just three in five in 2016 (60%). On average, sellers accepted an offer of 2.5% less from a chain-free buyer due to the likelihood that the buyer will be able to complete the sale faster.
So far this month it’s taken the average chain-free buyer 91 days to exchange after having an offer accepted, 20 days quicker than a buyer who had a property to sell. This marked the biggest time to exchange gap between chain and chain-free buyers since our records began in 2009.