Property Reporter: The fastest and slowest areas of England’s property market

As featured in ‘Property Reporter’: April 7th 2022

Much the same as prices and supply, disparity can also be found when looking a completion times in England, with newly released data revealing that both rural and city locations are subject to longer than average waiting times.

According to research from property data platform, MoveSmart, created by national home buying service, Spring, homes in Ayot St Lawrence, Barming and Anlaby are among the slowest currently to sell from date of listing to completion.

From the day of listing, the average home in the town of Ayot St Lawrence in Hertfordshire took 46 weeks to completion, while in the civil parish of Barming, in Kent, and the village of Anlaby in the East Ridings of Yorkshire, the average time was 40 weeks, according to a new report, which reveals the top 10 fastest and slowest-selling areas in England.

However, it’s not just more rural locations where sellers are waiting a long time – with the cities of Manchester (36 weeks) Sheffield (30 weeks) and Southampton (30 weeks) also among the slowest to complete, reflecting a lack of demand for city homes as the race for space continues.

Even in the fastest locations, the time from listing to completion is between three to four months. The fastest areas include Bar Hill in Cambridgeshire (12 weeks), Bayston Hill in Shropshire and Dunsdale in North Yorkshire, with homes in both areas taking an average of 15 weeks to complete, reflecting high levels of demand – and efficient conveyancing – for limited new stock coming to market. However, for people who want a fast sale for relocation, in particular, to not lose another home, this is a reminder that getting an offer does not necessarily make your sale proceedable.

Using the MOVESMART search tool, comparing up to three locations at once, home sellers and buyers across the UK can find out how quickly properties in any three outcodes (the first three characters of a postcode) have been selling, from listing to completion, along with a breakdown of comparable properties for sale or sold within the area and a breakdown of average sale prices. The search tool will enable both sellers and buyers to have a better understanding of the property market, giving them the tools they need to make an informed decision.

Cormac Henderson, CEO of Spring comments: “While historically you might expect to see a clear north-south divide, the pandemic has created a market not seen before that breaks the mould. Of course, demand is not the only factor at play, with availability and quality of local conveyancers playing a big part in overall completion time.

“Historically, city homes have been the fastest to complete but with fewer people wanting to live in dense urban areas due to new lifestyle choices and flexible working, it is little surprise to see the built-up areas of Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton moving particularly slowly – with supply far outstripping demand.

“It is interesting to see that two regional towns in Shropshire, close to the border of Wales, have made the fastest list and that may be due to the impact of people moving out of larger cities to get more for their money nearer to nature post-pandemic, creating hotter markets in more rural areas.

“MoveSmart is a game-changer for the market place and we are excited to be launching a useful tool that will armour home sellers and buyers alike with detailed information when contemplating their next house move. The search tool will enable both sellers and buyers to have a better understanding of the property market so they can make a smart choice on the location of their next home.”

Read article here: The fastest and slowest areas of England’s property market | Property Reporter