The Express: ‘A market not seen before’ – England’s fastest and slowest property completion areas

As featured in ‘The Express’: April 3rd 2022 by Millie Bull

PROPERTY experts have shared which areas of England have the fastest and slowest completion rates. The current market has been described as “not seen before” by a property expert, as demand continues to outstrip supply in some regions, leading to faster completion times.

With the property market continuing to boom, many prospective buyers may be wondering how long it will take them to secure their dream home. From three months to almost a year, each area of the country could offer buyers either a speedy transaction or a slow Research from property data platform MoveSmart, created by national home buying service Spring, exclusively shared with has shared the fastest and slowest property completion areas in England.

According to the research, Ayot St Lawrence in Hertfordshire, Barming in Kent and Anlaby in Kingston upon Hull are among the slowest areas in England for homes to sell.

From the date of listing, the average home in the town of Ayot St Lawrence took 46 weeks before the transaction was completed which is almost one year.

Meanwhile in Barming and Anlaby, the average time was 40 weeks.

However, some urban hotspots are also experiencing longer property completion rates due to lack of demand. Manchester has a 36-week wait while Sheffield and Southampton have a 30-week lead time from the day of listing to completion. The long-wait time in cities could reflect a lack of demand in built-up, urban areas as buyers continue to race for space.

The coronavirus pandemic saw buyers’ priorities change with more forced to work from home. With some individuals now permanently in a home-based role, the desire to be in central locations close to the office has faded.

The new research found that even in the fastest locations, the time from listing to completion is between three and four months. Among the fastest areas were Bar Hill in Cambridgeshire where the average property transaction takes 12 weeks to complete. Bayston Hill in Shropshire and Dunsdale in North Yorkshire both made the shortlist, with homes in both areas taking an average of 15 weeks to complete.

The speedy completion rates reflect the areas’ high levels of demand for limited stock and efficient conveyancing.

For prospective buyers, the speed of transactions in some areas is a stark reminder that having an offer accepted on a home does not necessarily mean the sale is complete or proceedable.

Cormac Henderson, CEO of Spring said the coronavirus pandemic has created market conditions that have never been seen before.

He explained: “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 less 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.

Read the full article here: Property: England’s fastest and slowest property completion areas |