Selling can be a frustrating experience at the best of times, but especially so when properties are languishing on the market too long. Since the financial crisis, many regional markets have seemingly been stuck in first gear, but at long last, the time taken to sell a property outside of the Home Counties is dropping - and fast.
The typical time on market for unsold property across the UK has fallen to 102 days, eight days less than in May last year. By way of contrast, in May 2009 when prices were severely under pressure, the typical time to sell a property stood at 184 days: 80% longer than in the current climate.
Considerable regional differences still exist. London and the South East top the table with typical time on the market around 70 days and continuing to fall. At the other end of the spectrum, the typical property in the North East remains on the market for 198 days: a patience-sapping 6.5 months. Unfortunately, this metric has risen by a further nine days, over the last 12 months - a clear indication that the region's property market is still crawling.
However, the now well-established recovery in the London and South East markets is, to some extent, moving to other regions of England, Scotland and Wales. The Yorkshire and Welsh property markets have experienced the largest falls in marketing times, with Yorkshire's time on market falling by a full 30 days since May 2012. Both the East and West Midlands have also experienced considerable reduction in the time to market property and average prices are now beginning to recover.
Although the Land Registry has yet to report on the number of property transactions beyond January 2013, this new data from Home.co.uk is an encouraging sign for many regions of the country.
Doug Shephard, director at Home.co.uk commented:
"Whilst marketing times are notoriously seasonal, the time taken to sell property is an important indication of the real health of the local market. This vital signal provides estate agents, buyers and vendors alike an insight into the fluidity of local markets and their ability to drive transactions.
The dynamic markets of London and the South East continue to enjoy the shortest selling times, but it is encouraging to note that other areas of the country are seeing the largest falls. One cannot underestimate the boost to vendor confidence that is gained by taking 3-4 weeks off the selling time. In turn, this puts more pressure on the seller to commit to the purchase of their next home, and creates a positive impact throughout the entire property chain."
Source: Home.co.uk Asking Price Index
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