The local authority that I work for is currently processing searches within a week. Whether the solicitors are then sitting on them is another matter. We had to respond to a letter from our sellers solicitor via our solicitor and when we received the letter it was clear from the date stamps that it had sat on our solicitors desk for five days! In our case we had our searches done weeks ago but the owner of the house two above on the chain is horrifically slow. We got an email today saying she's only just got her searches back. I think, particularly in a chain, there are so many variables that can hold up exchange. I had hoped we would be done soon but the email about the searches today has really put a downer on that thought. We've gone from hoping we'd be moved in before Christmas, to hopefully exchange in January to now wondering if we'll be done by the end of February in time for my Birthday. It's immensely frustrating, the whole process.