Properties in the UK are taking longer than they did in the past to move from the sales-agreed stage to exchange, according to recent Rightmove data.

The property specialists said that the time has extended from sales to completion to a worrying five-year high. This is based on figures for August produced by the property portal.

SSTC properties in a jam

Despite the best efforts of conveyancing solicitors London and in other areas, Rightmove’s data for the height of the summer of 2019 shows that the number of properties that are listed and ‘Sold Subject To Contract‘ has gone up by 6.1 per cent annually. This is the biggest number in a four-year period, but these properties are, on average, staying listed at this stage of the property selling process for longer.

The Rightmove portal does not offer sales-agreed figures but said that the number of properties that have a SSTC listing has reached the highest level noted since June 2014. This gives credence to the idea that there is a ‘log-jam in the legal process’. This highlights the need to choose a reputable solicitor. Companies available include

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director, said it was an anxious period for everyone involved in the buying and selling process once a property is SSTC.

The latest Rightmove figures are echoed in a separate piece of research by the property portal. This tracked listings that were noted as being completed with the Land Registry. This typically took an average of 109 days in 2018, up by a day on 2017 figures and up from 103 in 2016. More information on property completion and the Land Registry can be found at

More property figures

Rightmove figures for July reveal that the asking prices for new-to-market properties went up by 1.2 per cent year on year, despite going down 1 per cent compared to previous months. This meant an average asking price of £305,500.

In July, time spent on the market stayed flat compared to the previous month, standing at 62 days. This was up by five days compared to the previous year, however.

Agents generally saw the amount of stock go up to 54.4 properties per business on average. This compared to 52.5 per agent last year and 53.3 in June.