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Time taken to sell a home increases 14% year-on-year

Jessica Bird

July 22, 2020

Research by estate agent comparison site GetAgent.co.uk has revealed that so far this year, the time it takes to sell a property has increased by 14% when compared to 2019.

The average time from listing to completing has increased by 18 days to an average of 144 days, or nearly five months; in London, this average was 158 days, or 5.3 months.

The slowest pockets of the market were the City of London (271 days), Aberdeenshire (269 days) and Moray (261 days).

Highland (243 days), Gwynedd (233 days), Denbighshire (215 days), Conwy (212 days), Barrow-in-Furness (210 days), South Lakeland (207 days) and Pembrokeshire (206 days) also rank within the top 10 slowest spots for a property sale in 2020.

In these areas, homebuyers currently searching the market are unlikely to transact before the end of the current stamp duty holiday.

Edinburgh was found to be the best place in the UK for a quick sale, with the average transaction taking 78 days, or 2.6 months, in 2020.

Wigan (86 days), North Lanarkshire (91 days), Bolsover (91 days), Nuneaton and Bedworth (94 days) and East Dunbartonshire (94 days) also ranked within the quickest spots.

Within London, Camden (205 days) and Kensington and Chelsea (201 days) were some of the slowest spots for a property sale.

Bexley was the borough home to the quickest average time to sell within London at 117 days, with Greenwich (122 days), Barking and Dagenham (124 days), Bromley (128 days) and Waltham Forest (128 days) also among the quickest.

Colby Short, founder and CEO of GetAgent.co.uk, said: “An overall increase in the time to sell will come as no surprise, given the industry-wide restrictions implemented during the height of the COVID-19 crisis.

“While the market has seen a rejuvenated level of demand bolstered by the recent stamp duty holiday, many homebuyers will have to act quickly to see the benefit, while in some areas they are unlikely to benefit at all due to much longer transaction times.

“For those thinking of selling, it’s important to understand how long it may take in your local market and how this can impact your ongoing purchase.

“It’s also sensible to give yourself a time buffer, as the process of finding an agent and listing your property can often take as long as three weeks before your property even goes live.

“With this considered, the time frame of 165 days to sell the average UK home is probably a realistic one in the current market conditions.

“Therefore those looking to buy now need to get their skates on if they are going to complete while the stamp duty holiday is still available.”


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