House sellers face longer wait for offers this year

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The average property now takes nearly a week longer to sell than it did a year ago, according to an analysis of cities and large towns.

Sellers typically now face a 102-day wait for an acceptable offer on their homes, the report from Post Office Money found.

This is six days longer than in 2017, when the average time between a property going on the market and being marked as sold or under offer was 96 days.

The report found that properties in Edinburgh and Glasgow, where the conveyancing process differs from that in England, sell fastest, at an average of 39 and 48 days respectively – with homes in Blackpool taking the longest average time to sell, at 131 days.

In Yorkshire, houses in Sheffield can be expected to sell in 76 days, which is 12 days faster than those in Leeds and 17 days faster than in Hull.

In London, homes remain on the market for an average of 126 days.

Ross Hunter, of Post Office Money, said the longer wait for sellers did not mean that interest in moving up the housing ladder was waning.

He said: “We have continued to see a rise in mortgage applications and approvals. First-time buyers have actually increased by 12 per cent across the market in the last year alone, encouraged by the reduction made to stamp duty costs and mortgage innovation.

“We also know that housing supply has increased significantly. So there are more properties available to choose from for prospective buyers.”

Nationally, homes in Belfast and Swansea are bucking the trend, with offers being made up to 17 days sooner than last year.

At the other end of the spectrum, properties in Bristol and Luton are taking 10 and 14 days longer respectively to sell.

The report blamed unaffordable house prices in those areas, with Bristol properties typically selling for 10.9 times the average wage.