Only 55% of properties listed by agents result in a sale within six months

Properties are taking longer to sell and fewer are selling at or above asking price compared, research looking at six months of agency activity has claimed.

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The HomeOwners Alliance has assessed activity in the property market between May 2016 and May 2017 based on results using its controversial EstateAgent4Me search tool.

The tool is aimed at letting users see search for agents in their area and see the percentage of properties sold by firms over a 180 day or six month period as well as how long it took and how close completed transaction values have been to asking prices over the same period.

In May, the organisation found that 55% of all properties listed for sale resulted in a completion in the previous six months, compared with 59% when the same research was carried out in May 2016.

Last May the average property sold in the past six months stayed on the market for 55 days before a sale being agreed, whereas this has now increased to 60 days.

Additionally, the report showed the proportion of properties sold over six months achieving asking price dropped from 96.4% to 95.8%, between May 2016 and May 2017.

The research didn’t specify what areas and how many agents were included, but a spokesman said it was in likely to be in the thousands.

There are, however, figures for London provided, showing properties sold in the six months to May 2017 in the capital stayed on the market for an average of 56.6 days each during May 2016, increasing to 72 this year. In May 2016, London properties were achieving an average of 98.1% of their asking price, but that figure has slipped to 95.8%, the HomeOwners Alliance claims.

Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, which hosts the EstateAgent4Me website, said: “On the basis of these figures, it would be reasonable to assume that there has been some market slowdown between May 2016 and May 2017.

“Fewer properties that are listed for sale are resulting in completed sales, and those properties that are taking longer to sell and are slightly under-achieving on their asking price compared to May 2016.

“All of this would point to the fact that the market is more challenging and that home owners recognise this.

“The uncertainty created by the Brexit vote and now the hung Parliament is unlikely to convince anyone that the market is likely to improve. Nevertheless, home owners that need to sell should not be dissuaded.

“Doing your research and picking a good local agent should still result in a successful sale, even if it might take a bit longer than usual.”

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