Properties in Manchester now sell three times faster than London

The price and location of a property go a long way in determining how long it takes to sell, and London has always been a fast market. However, according to the latest analysis, the tables might be turning drastically.

On average, houses in the UK take in the region of six weeks to sell from the day they first go on the market, and historically desirable places with very high demand have seen the quickest turnaround times – namely London. But research from the HomeOwners Alliance, which monitored thousands of properties across the country from the time of being listed to being marked as ‘under offer’, has shown a trend reversal.

Three London regions – West, North-West and South-West – appeared in the slowest 10 postcode areas for property sales, with West London taking the very bottom spot after properties spent an average of 107.9 days on the market as of December last year.

The capital saw a fall in house prices for the first time since 2009 last year, with prices dipping by 0.5% over the year to £470,922, which is still well above the UK average but indicates a possible reduction in the demand for London property. After years of a booming housing market, it seems London is now starting to soften.

The fastest place to sell

By contrast, HomeOwners Alliance revealed that the three fastest places in the country to sell property were Northampton (30.6 days), Coventry (31.3 days) and Manchester (36 days). Birmingham, whose property market has seen vast improvement in recent months, also made it into the top 10, with an average home there being on the market for 36.7 days before going under offer.

Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, said: “Knowing how long a sale can take is vital intelligence for anyone trying to sell their home. Our EA4ME tool gives homeowners a greater understanding of their local market and provides new insights into the state of the national picture.”

The data was compiled using a specialist tool, EstateAgent4me, assessing estate agent results from more than 100 postcode areas in the UK, not including online-only agents.

Last year, Post Office Money named Edinburgh as the fastest place to sell a property – looking at time taken for the sale to go through – but the research revealed the same reversal of roles as seen in this report, with London lagging behind and Manchester moving up the ranks.

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