Thompson & Son Removals

Thompson & Son - West Midland Removals
Thompson & Son - West Midland Removals
What Is The Average Property Chain Length?

What is the Average Property Chain Length?

When buying or selling a property, one of the most critical aspects to understand is the property chain. But what exactly is a property chain, and how does it impact the process of moving house? Here, we delve into the concept, examine the factors that influence it, and discuss the average property chain length.

Understanding a Property Chain

A property chain occurs when multiple property transactions are interdependent, meaning that each sale is contingent upon another sale being completed. For instance, if you are selling your home to someone who needs to sell their own property first to finance the purchase, you are part of a property chain. This interdependency can cause delays, as the completion of one transaction relies on the others in the chain.

Factors Influencing a Property Chain

Several factors contribute to the formation and length of a property chain:

  • Buyer’s Dependence on Selling Their Property: If the buyer needs to sell their existing home to fund the purchase, this creates a link in the chain.
  • Seller’s Need to Purchase a New Home: Similarly, if the seller needs to buy a new property, their sale is dependent on securing another home, adding another link to the chain.
  • Mortgage Arrangements: Delays in mortgage approvals can also lengthen the chain.
  • Legal and Conveyancing Processes: The time taken for legal checks and paperwork completion can add to the chain length.
  • Survey and Valuation Issues: If any problems arise during surveys or valuations, they can delay the entire chain.

Average Property Chain Length

The average property chain length can vary significantly based on the above factors. However, typical chains usually involve up to three properties. Here’s a breakdown of what you might expect:

  • Simple Chains: With up to three properties, the average time to move house is typically around four months. This includes time for securing mortgages, completing legal checks, and finalising sales.
  • Complex Chains: If there are more properties involved, or if issues arise (such as a break in the chain where a sale falls through), the process can extend to six months or more.

Dealing with Property Chains

Understanding the average property chain length is crucial for planning your move. Here are some tips to manage the process more effectively:

  • Stay Informed: Keep in regular contact with your estate agent and solicitor to stay updated on the progress of each link in the chain.
  • Be Prepared: Have all your documentation and finances in order to avoid any delays on your end.
  • Flexibility: Be prepared for potential delays and have contingency plans, such as temporary accommodation or storage solutions.

Breaking the Chain

Sometimes, breaking the chain can expedite the moving process. This can be achieved by:

  • Renting Temporarily: Sell your property and move into rented accommodation while searching for your new home.
  • Bridging Loans: These loans can help you buy a new property before selling your existing one, though they come with higher interest rates and fees.
  • Negotiating: Sometimes, negotiating with other parties in the chain to expedite processes or accommodate timelines can help reduce delays.


Understanding the average property chain length is vital for anyone planning to move house. While a typical property chain involving up to three properties can take around four months to complete, more complex chains can extend this timeframe. By staying informed, prepared, and flexible, you can navigate the challenges of property chains more effectively. At Thompson & Son Removals, we are here to assist you throughout your moving journey, ensuring a smoother and more efficient transition. Contact us today for more information on how we can help with your move.

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