Rightmove: 21% of properties now chain-free

Jake Carter

March 26, 2021

One in five (21%) properties available on Rightmove were chain-free in February 2021, an increase from 15% at the same time last year.

The percentage of chain-free homes available was found to be up in all regions, with the biggest shift seen in London, from 12% in February 2020 to 21%.

The East Midlands noted the greatest number of chain-free homes in February 2021 at 24%, and also recorded the greatest quantity in 2020 (19%).

This was followed by East of England, with 23% of all properties chain-free in February 2021, and the West Midlands, at 18%.

In February 2021, the number of buyers searching for ‘no chain’ in Rightmove’s keyword sort tool was 72% higher than the same month of 2020.

Looking to the annual change in rental demand, this figure was up 61% in the West Midlands, followed by a rise of 60% in the East Midlands, and 56% in Wales.

Tim Bannister, director of property data at Rightmove, said: “We know that one of the reasons sellers are often hesitant to come to market is because they can’t find somewhere that they want to buy, but with record buyer demand and the stamp duty holiday being an added incentive for prospective buyers there seems to be a group of people who are choosing to sell up now and rent temporarily.

“The flexibility of renting gives people the chance to ‘try before you buy’ in a new area and so those who have chosen to move to the countryside may be selling their house chain-free to then rent and take time to decide if the good life is definitely for them.

“Selling chain-free is perhaps something some owners hadn’t considered as a possibility before now, but with the competitive market and stock shortage we currently have they’re trying to put themselves in a more attractive position when their dream home comes along.

“In the capital there are also some landlords who are selling up now, which could open up an opportunity for some first-time buyers looking for their first home.”

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