The average UK property takes 96 days to sell, according to the latest report from Post Office Money, with buyers typically being able to negotiate a better deal the longer the property has been on the market.
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 Scottish cities Edinburgh and Glasgow had the least amount of time to wait, with homes spending 41 and 50 days on the market, respectively, with cities to the West of the UK more likely to see a longer wait.
The longer properties have been on the market the better deal buyers can potentially negotiate, particularly in areas like Liverpool where 87 percent of properties for sale are affordable to first-time buyers.
Owen Woodley, Managing Director at Post Office Money, commented on the figures:
“Against a backdrop of muted but steady increases in house prices across the country and sustained demand from the FTB market, these movements in time to sell reflect the changes in the number of properties listed for sale in cities across the UK. We know from previous research that first time buyers are taking a flexible approach to finding an affordable home, most especially towards location.
“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.”
Edinburgh and Stoke on Trent have seen the biggest fall in the time properties spend on the market – despite the fact that they are opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of house price growth.
The Edinburgh housing market has become increasingly competitive in recent years, and a lack of new buildings is responsible for the fall in time on market and increase in prices. Edinburgh has also seen prices rise by 10.4 percent over the past year, well above the 3.9 percent growth for Scotland as a whole.
Stoke-On-Trent, meanwhile, is a hotspot for first time buyers; 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 percent in value, the smallest increase of any major city in the UK.