Friday, 17 November 2017

Homes in the UK sell fastest in Edinburgh and Glasgow

The average property in the UK takes 96 days to sell with the fastest selling markets to be found in Edinburgh and Glasgow and the slowest in Liverpool and Belfast, a new study shows.

Overall homes are selling faster, according to the latest City Rate of Sale report from Post Office Money, with properties in Edinburgh and Stoke on Trent taking 25% less time to sell since last year.

The report developed with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), examines the average time a property takes to sell in more than 20 major cities across the UK. Sellers in the Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow had the least amount of time to wait, with homes spending 41 and 50 days on the market, respectively.

Cities to the West of the UK were more likely to see a longer wait, with homes in Liverpool and Belfast typically taking over 100 days, some 112 and 119 respectively, to sell.
The report suggest that when properties have been on the market longer, buyers can potentially negotiate a better deal, particularly in areas like Liverpool where 87% of properties for sale are affordable to first time buyers.

‘Against a backdrop of muted but steady increases in house prices across the country and sustained demand from the first time buyer market, these movements in time to sell reflect the changes in the number of properties listed for sale in cities across the UK,’ said Owen Woodley, managing director of Post Office Money.

He pointed out that previous research has shown that that first time buyers are taking a flexible approach to finding an affordable home, especially when it comes to location. Second Steppers in contrast, have less flexibility as they are specifically looking to move to a new area or a bigger property.

‘Therefore, on the whole across the UK, the number of houses on the market has fallen because those looking to trade up are struggling to find good properties at acceptable prices. This is likely to become a growing issue as buyers are more likely to wait out the current market until price growth returns more forcefully,’ he added.

The report explains that the Edinburgh housing market has become increasingly competitive in recent years, and a lack of new home is responsible for the fall in time on market and increase in prices. Edinburgh has also seen prices rise by 10.4% over the past year, well above the 3.9% growth for Scotland as a whole.

Stoke on Trent, meanwhile, is a hotspot for first time buyers and this has stimulated demand for houses priced under £250,000 and reduced the time on the market. However, competition has not increased so much for more expensive properties, as a number of newly built properties in the area have increased supply, this has placed downward pressure on prices. Homes in Stoke on Trent increased by only 0.9% in value, the smallest increase of any major city in the UK.

In contrast, southern cities of Southend and Portsmouth have seen the sharpest increase in the typical time that properties have spent on the market with Southend seeing a 12% increase and Portsmouth, a 10% increase. In part, the report says, this reflects the fact that both cities are becoming less affordable as they have both seen a higher increase in house price values than is normal for their respective regions.
House prices have risen in each of the cities analysed in this report over the last year, with the average price of a home in the UK rising by 5% in the year to August 2017. However, overall both house price growth and sales volumes have decelerated and the report suggests it has reached a ‘tipping point’ where growth has left many areas unaffordable for the average buyer. This could see delays for the 11% of current home owners who want to move up the ladder in the near future.

‘City rate of sale data can be a useful indicator of momentum in a local property market and buyers can use this insight to help plan for their next move. If a sale moves faster, or takes longer than planned, buyers can face unexpected costs. This is why we’ve created some top tips for buyers to help them prepare and plan ahead for any unforeseen costs so they’re not caught short,’ Woodley explained.

According to Mark Hayward, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), there is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ time to market a property in order to secure a quick sale. ‘You should work with an estate agent you trust, to get the property on the market at the right price as soon as you’re ready in order to maximise your chances of a stress free and speedy sale,’ he said.

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