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London properties taking over a fortnight longer to sell than in 2017

It is taking a week longer to sell a house on average than to a year ago and even more for London properties, according to new figures released.

The data from Post Office Money’s City Rate of Sale report reveals that it now takes 102 days for the ‘Sold’ sign to go up, compared to 96 days in the same survey in 2017. Well below that average are the two fastest-selling places, Edinburgh and Glasgow which clock in at 39 and 48 days respectively. The two Scottish cities are comfortably quicker than Stoke on Trent, next on the list at 68 days.

Properties in Blackpool take the longest to sell in the list at 131 days, but London is just one place above the Lancashire coastal resort.  Houses in the capital took an average 126 days to move, 15 days longer than last year. The survey assessed how long it had taken to sell properties that were sold in a 90-day period to the end of October 2018.

The largest cut in time to sell in the survey came in Belfast, where at 111 days it is 17 days faster than last year. Despite the overall increases on last year, Post Office Money spokesman Ross Hunter said interest in buying property was not on the wane.

“We have continued to see a rise in mortgage applications and approvals in the last year. First-time buyers have actually increased by 12% 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% in England compared to the previous quarter, so there are more properties available to choose from for prospective buyers.”

Gazumping still an issue for many

The data also flags up how commonplace it can be for a sale to fall through. Post Office Money collaborated with proptech provider Gazeal, and their research showed a third of sales falling through within three weeks of transaction, and 44% with four weeks. It also revealed that 16% of sellers are gazumped.

Gazeal’s Steve Dawkins said, “As the market has remained competitive, the trend for gazundering and gazumping is rife – where previously agreed offers are later broken by one of the parties involved. This has left 65% of all buyers and sellers worried about whether they will make it to completion following an offer being accepted.”

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