Properties now taking a week longer to sell than last year

It may be the UK’s most affordable town for first-time buyers, but properties in Blackpool take longer to sell than anywhere else.

The fastest spots to sell a home in the UK right now are Edinburgh and Glasgow, where the average property deal will be completed in an average of 39 and 48 days, respectively.

The data comes from the latest Post Office Money Rate of Sale Report, compiled with the help of the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

An extra week to find a buyer

The report looks at the average time it takes to sell a property in 35 locations across the UK, and its latest data shows sellers are having to wait an extra week in 2018, up from 96 days last year.

Edinburgh and Glasgow top the speed list, but properties in London and Blackpool take longest to complete a deal on.

In the capital, sellers must wait an average 126 days, while in the Lancashire seaside resort, it’s 131 days or almost five months. In London, properties priced at more than £1 million take 171 days or more than six months to sell.

Rise in mortgage applications

Ross Hunter, of Post Office Money said: “Properties are taking slightly longer to sell, but this doesn’t mean that interest in moving up the housing ladder is waning.

“At Post Office, for instance, we have continued to see a rise in mortgage applications and approvals in the last year.

“First-time buyers have actually increased by 12 percent 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 percent in England compared to the previous quarter, so there are more properties available to choose from for perspective buyers.”

Affordability hotspots thrive

The Post Office Money report has revealed that Belfast and Swansea, both considered affordability hotspots for home buyers, saw the biggest fall in the amount of time it takes to sell a property. In Belfast, where the supply of stock is relatively low, houses are spending 17 days less on the market than they did a year ago.

In Swansea, properties are on average on the market 14 days less than 2017, as the south Wales city benefits from its affordable property and close proximity to property hotspot Cardiff.

The places where it’s now taking longer to sell include Bristol and Luton, at 10 and 14 days longer, respectively, than last year.