You could be in for a long wait
Struggling to shift your property? Well, at least you’re not alone. A new report by Post Office Money (with the Centre for Economics and Business Research) has revealed how long it takes to sell a property in the UK.
If you were to put your place on the market, it would take, on average, a very lengthy… 102 days to sell. That’s more than three months of thumb-twiddling (not to mention having to keep your home spotless for viewings).
The report also demonstrates that homes are selling even slower now than they were in 2017, when the figure stood at 96 days.
In case you wondered, Blackpool residents are encountering the most issues with selling their properties, despite the city actually being the most affordable place for first-time buyers. Perhaps surprisingly, London homes are selling almost as slowly, taking, on average, 126 days, compared with Blackpool’s 131.
While prices in London sky-rocketed in previous years, things have stalled somewhat in the light of Brexit uncertainty; plus, a lot of first-time buyers simply can’t afford London’s hefty price tags.
Homes in the capital priced at over £1 million tend to take around 171 days to sell, while cheaper properties get snapped up quicker (around 99 days).
On the other hand, Edinburgh and Glasgow properties are, apparently, selling the fastest, spending (respectively) just 39 and 42 days on the market.
Why is the property market booming in Glasgow, you ask? Well, it probably has a lot to do with the city’s rapidly increasing population and relative lack of available homes. Glasgow has actually seen the fastest recent house price growth of all the UK’s major cities.
If you’re trying to sell a home in Luton or Bristol, beware that, due to a spike in house prices, the market has slowed compared to last year, with properties taking around 20% longer to sell.
Post Office Money partnered with property-tech provider Gazeal to provide yet more insights, one of them being that one in three (35 per cent) people regrettably see their sale fall through after an offer has been made.
This happens within the first three weeks of the transaction, when searches are taking place. 44 per cent see their sale fall through during surveys; shockingly, Treasury data suggests that £270m per year is squandered on failed housing transactions.
Blackpool sellers don’t fare to well in this department either – they’re the most likely to see their sale fall through within the first three weeks (44 per cent) and four weeks (53 per cent).
Ever been gazumped (or been the one to do the gazumping)? One in six (16 per cent) experience this disappointment, where a seller accepts a verbal offer from one buyer before agreeing to a higher offer from someone else. Sheffield buyers are most likely to experience this.
Finally some good news for Blackpool residents, though – they are the least likely to be gazumped (probably given the surplus of properties for sale). Hurrah for that, at least.
Spokesperson for Post Office, Ross Hunter commented: “Properties are taking slightly longer to sell but this doesn’t mean that interest in moving up the housing ladder is waning. At Post Office, for instance, we have continued to see a rise in mortgage applications and approvals in the last year’.
He goes on: ‘First-time buyers have actually increased by 12 per cent across the market in the last year alone, encouraged by the reduction made to stamp duty costs and mortgage innovation. We also know that housing supply has increased significantly – the number of homes completed in Q2 2018 was up 7 per cent in England compared to the previous quarter, so there are more properties available to choose from for perspective buyers’.