It now takes seven months for properties to be sold, Rightmove says

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Sellers looking to sell their homes before Christmas should now hire an estate agent as the average time between listing and completion for properties takes as much as seven months, Rightmove’s House Price Index revealed today.

Average prices of properties coming to market for sale reached a record £375,131, up 0.8% (+£2,807), driven by the top sector with average prices up 1.3% compared to last year.

Graph showing the change in monthly asking prices, May 2024. properties

The number of sales agreed in the first four months of the year is 17% higher than last year, surpassing the 12% increase in the number of new sellers entering the market.

But despite an increase in asking prices due to pent-up demand and a strong spring selling season, it still takes more than seven months for a seller to come onto the market to complete their move. This means that potential sellers who want to celebrate Christmas in a new home, get into the market now.

MPs are currently assessing the slow completion process in England and Wales as part of their research into improving the home buying and selling process.

SEAMLESS PROCESS

Creating a more seamless process, including providing more accurate information about a home to potential buyers earlier, and better connecting the parties involved in the transaction process through technology, are two areas that Rightmove believes would be most beneficial are for movers.

Tim Bannister
Tim Bannister, Director of Property Science, Rightmove

Tim balustradeRightmove’s director of Property Science, says: “The momentum of the spring selling season has exerted enough upward price pressure to reach a new asking price record.”

But he adds: “The extremely lengthy legal completion process is a frustrating barrier for movers to more quickly convert agreed sales into completed transactions.

“It may seem surreal to think about Christmas in May, but we know many potential sellers imagine themselves celebrating the festivities in a new home, and to achieve that, now is the time to come to market.”

Dan Salmons, Coadjute
Dan Salmons, general manager of coadjute

Than SalmonsChief Executive, Coadjute, says: “While long lead times have been a fact of life for years, it remains painful for movers, and we see it as something that technology can and will solve.”

He adds: “At its core, the delays are caused by communication issues and the difficulty of obtaining accurate data quickly and securely. There is certainly a lot of progress that can be made, and while there is no silver bullet, we ultimately hope to see some dramatic improvements in today’s time.”

INDUSTRY RESPONSE
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Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops

Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, said: “The message here is that changes in lifestyle and supply are still the dominant market forces for most, anchoring house prices for the foreseeable future to provide much-needed stability and certainty.

“The more positive macroeconomic outlook in recent weeks has even led some to revise house price forecasts for the year upwards from decline to growth; consumer confidence that will likely trickle down into the busy summer ahead.”

These latest figures could provide ideal inspiration for sellers to use this as an opportunity to market their property.”

emerson
Nathan Emerson, Managing Director of Propertymark

Nathan Emerson, Chief Executive of Propertymark, added: “Spring heading into summer is traditionally a busy time for the housing market and these latest figures could prove ideal inspiration for sellers to use this as an opportunity to sell their property. to bring to the market.

“Buyers and sellers are adjusting to current levels of inflation and higher interest rates, but the more these two factors come down, the more likely there will be further stimulation of housing market growth.

“With supply still a key issue and a general election looming, we hope that all political parties will focus on increasing the number of homes in the medium to long term.”

Matt Thompson, Chestertons
Matt Thompson, Head of Sales, Chestertons

And Matt Thompson, head of sales at Chestertons, says: “With more lenders cutting mortgage rates, buyers are feeling slightly more confident in their financing options.

“We expect this shift in the market to drive buyer demand this summer – especially in London, where the number of buyers continues to exceed the number of available properties.”


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