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Time to transfer

8 July 2004

Writing in this month's (July) De Rebus, the author attempted to provide answers, supported by reliable evidence, to two questions: How long should a "typical transfer" take and how long do these transfers take in reality?

After using a visual model - the PERT (Programme and Review Technique) model - in which the interdependence of the steps in the transfer process and the conveyancers inputs are shown, a benchmark figure of 60 to 70 days was arrived at. Data from eight registries, taken from 1 January 1994 to 31 October 2001 and excluding incomplete records, left some 2 878 576 sales records. Egregious transfers, such as "off-plan" sales, were also excluded, as were transfers which had taken more than 180 days.

This left 1 969 750 typical transfer records yielding a statistical mean of 90,15 days. Since this is the equivalent of saying a body is at normal temperature when the head is in an oven and the feet in the freezer, it was used in conjunction with two other methods of analysis. Of these, the median and modus of duration analysis arrived at 85 and 70 days respectively, while the ten-day increment analysis revealed that the most transfers occurred in the 61-70 day class. Although these figures indicate that transfers take as long as one could reasonably expect them to take, the fact that just less than 55% of typical transfers take place in 90 days or less leads one to conclude that many therefore take longer than they ought to have.

An interesting aspect of the finding was the analysis of the "critical path". Here all activities which could result in the delaying of the whole process were delineated, and it was found that at least 16 of the 50 steps prior to registration fell into this path. This underlines her conclusion that many of the delays are outside the conveyancer's control.

De Rebus

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