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Rightmove: Number of sellers finding buyers within one week reaches 10-year high

Jessica Bird

September 4, 2020

hmrc property transactions

In the period from 8 July to 31 August 2020, the number of sellers finding buyers within a week of putting their home up for sale was higher than at any time over the past 10 years, according to research by Rightmove.

This was a 125% jump on the same period in 2019, and 28% higher than the previous high recorded in February 2016 before the Brexit vote.

One in seven properties sold by agents did so within a week of being listed on Rightmove, up from one in 10 in 2019.

Three in 10 (30%) homes sold within the first two weeks of marketing, compared with one in five (21%) in 2019.

Sellers of three-bedroom semi-detached homes have the best chance of selling their home within a week – 19% of three-bedroom semi-detached homes sold by agents took a week or under to do so, compared with 13% last year.

Four-bed detached houses saw the biggest jump, with the proportion selling within a week doubling from 7% last year to 14% this year.

In Scotland, a third (32%) of all three-bedroom semi-detached homes sold by agents took a week or under to sell, compared to 20% in 2019.

The slowest market was in London where one in nine homes sold within the first week, though this is up from one in 20 in 2019.

Miles Shipside, property expert at Rightmove, said: “Not only are more properties selling in the current market than at any time over the past ten years, but many sellers are finding that demand for homes following lockdown and the rush to beat the stamp duty deadline means they’re achieving a quicker sale, but only if they’ve been priced correctly.

“Not every home sells, but those that are well presented by agents, are on at the right price, or are just lucky enough to be in demand are among a record number of homes selling within the first week of coming to market since we started tracking this data ten years ago.

“There’s no point rushing a home to market without carefully thinking through the best way to market it and making sure it looks its best, which is something an expert local agent can help with.

“However, sellers do need to move more quickly than before because although we’re in unchartered territory with record activity it’s still likely that demand will start to soften as it always does towards the end of the year.

“The conveyancing log-jam created by the pause and subsequent market surge means that people thinking of coming to market really need to do so in September or early October if they want to have a chance of completing with enough time to beat the stamp duty deadline.

“Six months may seem like a while away now, but getting your property ready to sell, finding an agent, marketing the home, finding a buyer and then going through the conveyancing process doesn’t leave much time for any unexpected delays along the way, especially if you’re in a chain.

“Sellers of three bed semi-detached homes are in the sweet spot of the market, as they benefit from being the most in demand and the most likely to sell within a week.

“The bigger, top of the ladder homes are also proving more popular, though some of this may be a result of home-movers in wealthier areas who would usually have been on holiday bringing their plans forward.”


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