The North of England has the slowest moving property market in the UK with three of five regions where homes have been on sale for at least six months in the North East, new research shows.
Sunderland is the slowest moving market with 28.5% of properties currently advertised for sale, first listed at least six months ago, according to research conducted by online estate agents House Simple.
Liverpool comes second with 24.9%, followed by Bradford at 19.8%, Middlesbrough also at 19.8% and Newcastle at 18.6%, in the analysis of property listings in 50 major UK towns and cities.
A further breakdown shows that 14.3% of homes for sale in Sunderland have been on the market for at least 12 months, some four times the UK average and nearly 50 time more than Reading which has the lowest percentage of property on the market for a year.
The research also shows that the fastest moving property market is Belfast with 0.9% of properties still for sale after a year and 1.9% after six months, followed by Northampton with 0.5% after 12 months and 3% after six months, then Reading with 0.3% and 3.6% respectively.
In London in March 13.8% of properties across London still remained unsold after six months, but that figure has now dropped to 12% but there are massive differences in the city depending on location.
Currently 22.5% of properties listed for sale in the City of Westminster were first marketed at least six months ago but just 0.6% in the borough of Waltham Forest. Average property prices in the City of Westminster are significantly higher than Waltham Forest, where prices are comparatively affordable when compared to other boroughs in London. Stamp duty changes have also hit the top end of the market, resulting in fewer buyers, the report suggests.
After the Westminster the next slowest moving market in London is Tower Hamlets with 6.4% of homes still on the market after a year and 22.5% after six months, followed by Kensington and Chelsea at 5.7% and 17.8%.
‘Across the 50 towns and cities we looked at, the length of time it’s taking for properties to sell appears to be falling. Eight months ago, when we carried out the same research, 13% of properties listed had been on the market at least six months. That figure has now fallen to 12.5%. Similarly, in London, we’ve seen a 1.8% drop since March,’ said Alex Gosling, chief executive officer of House Simple.
‘It would be foolhardy to say that the market has dramatically improved and that normality has been restored. In London, particularly, what we’re seeing is recognition from sellers that prices have cooled and that to secure a sale they need to be more flexible on price,’ he pointed out.
‘And Brexit is definitely playing its part. No one knows what is around the corner and there will be sellers who are keen to secure a sale while the market remains reasonably stable and are willing to negotiate with buyers who are in a position to proceed,’ he added.