Homes in the UK property market are taking an average of 44 days less to sell than they were a year ago, as buyer and investor appetite remains strong.
The UK property sector has faced a continual raft of changes over recent years in terms of Covid, inflation, interest rates and political uncertainty, yet it has largely retained its resilience and continued to outperform expectations.
Despite predictions of a crash due to the Covid outbreak, for example, house prices actually accelerated to record levels, from which we are now experiencing a levelling off, or what many describe as a natural market correction, as the sector returns to its new normal.
The time it takes for property to sell, from first being listed until the point at which the completion takes place, is a good indication of the general health of the market. It demonstrates how strong appetite is, and can also be linked to how accurately sellers and agents are pricing property.
And the latest figures from GetAgent.co.uk have revealed a positive trend for speedy sales in the UK property market, and an improved pace compared to last year, which is another marker of positivity for the sector.
Speedier sales on the whole
According to GetAgent.co.uk, it now takes an average of 44 days less to sell a UK property than it did 12 months ago. Looking at homes that have completed over the past 12 months, the figures reveal the average property takes 250 days to sell, compared with 294 days over the previous 12 months.
This is the total time it takes from listing the property, conducting viewings, accepting an offer and for the whole conveyancing process to complete.
Unsurprisingly, there are some regional variations in the figures, as certain parts of the market are more competitive. The fastest place to sell a home over the past 12 months was the SW1Y postcode of Westminster in London, where it takes just 79 days for the transaction to complete.
Other areas with speedy market activity include Northumberland’s TD15 postcode, where it takes an average of 92 days to sell, followed by SY15 in Powys (117), LA17 in South Lakeland (121) and SA34 in Carmarthenshire (125).
Colby Short, co-founder and CEO of GetAgent.co.uk, says: “Despite the property market instability spurred by last September’s mini budget, home sellers and buyers are continuing to transact and at a greater speed over the last 12 months when compared to the 12 months prior.
“In some areas there has been a dramatic reduction in the time it takes to sell a home, although this certainly hasn’t been the case across the board.”
Pricing UK property correctly
On a long-term basis, the UK property market as a whole has appreciated in value consistently, despite short-term peaks and troughs caused by external factors. This is why property investors and buyers tend to take a broader view of the market than monthly house price indices often offer.
While prices are certainly not maintaining the steep upwards trajectory of the past two years, across most parts of the market price corrections have been minimal, while in some areas, values have continued to rise, albeit slowly.
Still, according to Short, it is important to get the price right when listing UK property at the moment, in order to appeal to buyers who may be looking at rising mortgage rates, and to ensure a smooth sale.
“For those who are in need of a quick sale, the best plan of attack is to price realistically based on the current market conditions of your local area, ensure you have your paperwork in place so that you are ready to act when needed, and consider opting for a first-time buyer or buyer without an ongoing chain, even if it does mean accepting a marginally lower price for your home.”