Half of all chain-free homes listed for sale across the UK have already been purchased by buyers, according to Barrows and Forrester.

A chain-free property is a property that is being sold by a vendor who does not need to purchase a new property after they sell.

The research shows that Plymouth has the highest level of homebuyer demand for chain-free properties with two thirds (66%) of all chain-free homes listed for sale in the city having been sold subject to contract.

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Bristol followed at 65%, Sheffield at 64%, Portsmouth at 62% and Newport at 62%.

Barrows and Forrester also looked at which cities were home to the most chain-free properties for sale as a percentage of all properties listed.

Manchester topped the list with 48% of all homes listed being chain-free.

Cambridge followed with 47% of available properties on the market coming without a chain, while Belfast at 46%, Liverpool at 45% and Southampton at 44% were also in the top five.

In contrast, Glasgow has only 7% of all homes listed as chain-free and Edinburgh followed at 10%.

James Forrester, managing director of Barrows and Forrester, said: “A chain-free transaction has always been the holy grail of home selling and there’s nothing worse than having your life plans put on hold due to a transaction taking place further up or down the chain.

“However, with the current stamp duty holiday bringing huge delays as buyers flood the market, the time it’s taking to transact has grown considerably and so a chain-free property is more desirable than ever.

“Our research shows that the chance of finding one differ drastically depending on which city you are house hunting, and if you do find one, demand is high so it’s best to act quickly if you want to secure it.”