Searches are taking weeks to come through in several parts of the country.
Following our story on Monday’s Eye about searches in Exeter now taking six weeks, other blackspots have emerged.
These include the London borough of Sutton, where searches have been taking over ten weeks and where the council has taken the unprecedented step of writing to agents to apologise.
Neil Barnes, a partner at Winkworth, said: “The local borough are citing ‘a combination of increased demand for the service and staff shortages’ and anticipate being able to return to normal turnaround times of seven to ten working days by the middle of July.
“However, they are currently working on searches submitted on May 22, so they are still five weeks behind.
“It is affecting just about every transaction we have in our pipeline. The consequences are that mortgage offer deadlines are being missed and sales transactions are taking much longer to complete.
“This is making the whole moving process even more stressful for sellers and buyers alike, and is detrimental to our business as it affects cashflow considerably.”
Another blackspot is North Wiltshire, where Keith Maslin of Blount & Maslin, in Malmesbury, says that searches continually take six weeks.
He said: “I wrote both to my MP, James Gray, and my local councillor back in August 2013, and while there was a temporary improvement, with the market having taken off early this year it is now back to six weeks.
“With the holiday season upon us, it is only going to get worse.
“That, combined with the new Mortgage Market Review, means sales progression is a nightmare.”