Cambridge fastest selling hotspot as average time for property to sell across Great Britain falls to 65 days

  • Property for sale in Cambridge is taking only 27 days on average to be marked as sold on Rightmove, making it the fastest selling city in Great Britain
  • The University and ‘techno’ city is closely followed by London boroughs of Lewisham and Sutton both with 29 days and Waltham Forest with 31 days
  • Powys in Wales is home to the slowest moving properties, where sellers can expect an average time between first listing and sale agreed of 113 days
  • Rightmove reveals the top ten fastest and slowest selling locations across Great Britain as the average falls to 65 days this year compared to 75 days in the same period in 2013

  • Properties across Great Britain are selling ten days faster than this time last year, new data from the UK’s number one property website Rightmove reveals today.

    The fastest selling location is Cambridge with an average of 27 days until a sale is agreed, and seven of the top ten fastest selling areas are all London boroughs, from Sutton and Lewisham both at 29 days to Bromley at 35.  Warwick (33 days) and St Albans (34 days) also make the fastest selling top ten.

    In the slower selling markets properties could be for sale for an average of more than 100 days before a deal is made, with areas in Wales and the North making up the majority of the list.

    Powys in Wales has the slowest selling properties, taking 113 days on average, followed by Gwynedd (112 days) and Sefton in Merseyside (106 days).

    The new data includes all properties that were changed to Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC) by agents during April to June 2014, and measures the interval of time since they were first listed for sale on Rightmove.

    Although some of the slower towns have seen increases in time to sell compared with 2013, all regional averages have fallen showing the housing market recovery to be broad-based.  The biggest falls year-on-year were in London (32% drop from 60 to 41 days), the South East (22% drop from 65 to 51 days) and the East (20% drop from 70 to 56 days). The North East sees the smallest fall of 2% (90 to 88 days), followed by Wales with 5% (92 to 87 days).

    Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst comments:

    “This new data shows just how different the pace of the housing market is at a very local level, and clearly displays that speed is key for both buyers and sellers.  Buyers want to know that they can be the first to find new properties on the market, and sellers expect to have their property marketed as quickly as possible to find a suitable buyer. When selling a property you need to consider local market conditions to help set the asking price and ask your agent how soon they can have your property on the market – Rightmove’s new instant property alerts mean your property can be emailed to potential buyers in less than 90 minutes. Professional quality photos are a must, especially of the most important rooms such as the kitchen, lounge and bedrooms.

    “Our study looks at the average time from first listing, to being confident enough in the buyer’s ability to proceed, to actually mark it up as sold subject to contract. So although some sellers might find a potential buyer in a few days, the averages reflect the time taken to carry out thorough checks to minimise the risk of the sale falling through. A good agent will establish proof of cash, ability to get a mortgage with the stricter mortgage criteria in place under Mortgage Market Review, and if are they reliant upon a chain of other property sales. People shouldn’t be disheartened if their property has been on the market before a sale is agreed for longer than the times shown, but if it’s been on a lot longer they should ask themselves and their agent if there is a different tactic they could try to help garner more interest in the property, such as reviewing the asking price, retaking photos from different angles, and making sure the property’s selling features really stand out.”

    Views from agents in the fast and slow markets

    Andrew Bradshaw of Bradshaws Residential in Cambridge comments:

    “In the current market we are finding a number of buyers for many properties within two weeks or even a week in some cases.  Cambridge has always been viewed as a safe bet with the University and big businesses investing in the city, and with the upcoming additional railway station things are only likely to move even more quickly.  The appeal of the area does mean that stock is extremely low. We have one interested buyer looking to move from Wales to Cambridge, but they’ve had their property on the market in Wales for over a year with no sign of it selling, and we have others who have already sold their property elsewhere and are renting until a property to buy comes available in the city.”

    Melfyn Williams of Williams & Goodwin The Property People in Gwynedd said:

    “The ripple effect from London and talk of a widespread ‘over-heated’ market has not reached Gwynedd. Whilst the number of sales has improved and some property is selling in days or weeks, the average time is three to four months to secure a sale, and there are many properties that have now been for sale for over 12 months.  While consumer confidence has grown significantly this has not filtered through to significant house price growth yet. There are fantastic opportunities ahead and over the long term we will see price growth, but currently the market here is different to reports we are hearing from other parts of the country.  Unfortunately some people are sucked into the hype and insist on setting asking prices too high, resulting in them having to then reduce later.”

    Neil Louth, Group MD of The Acorn Group, comments:
    “I am not surprised to see the Lewisham Borough as one of the fastest selling locations in the UK. The quality of housing stock, coupled with numerous regeneration projects across the borough and the excellent transport links including the DLR and East London line, has been attracting buyers from North, East and Southwest London for a considerable time. When you add this to a market that still has more buyers than there are properties, it creates high demand, therefore, we need to see more homeowners taking advantage of the increased prices being achieved and more developments built to support the that demand.”

    Rightmove’s new instant alerts

    With the time to sell speeding up by up to 50% in some areas over the past year, prospective buyers need to be at the front of the queue when a property hits the market. Registering for Rightmove’s instant alerts allows buyers to be in with a better chance of finding it first.
    Sign up now!

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