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Home sale times fall significantly

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Home sale times fall significantly

The time it takes to sell a home in the UK has reduced across all regions and countries and house prices look set to remain steady, according to recent research by Zoopla.

Driven by an imbalance in supply and demand, the average time to sell a property since the lockdown restrictions were lifted is 31 per cent lower than the same period 12 months prior, the property portal’s monthly house price index suggests.

The number of days to sell a property in the last 90 days has been 27 days, compared to 39 days over the same period in 2019.

Buyer appetite has been widely attributed to pent-up demand resulting from lockdown, but it also reflects the impact of the nation as it collectively reassesses what it wants and needs from a home.

Quarantine has galvanised many homeowners and renters into reconsidering their housing requirements, resulting in demand for more space and changing work and commuting patterns.

Three-bedroom houses remain the fastest selling property on the market, with an average time to sell of 24 days since the lockdown lifted.

The supply and demand imbalance is most pronounced for three-bed houses.

While they are the most in-demand property type, the proportion of available supply falls short of demand across all parts of the UK – supporting faster sales periods.

Four and five-bed houses are selling 33 per cent faster than in 2019, as buyers prioritise more space and widen their search criteria – migrating away from the more expensive cities, suburbs and commuter belts while enabling their budgets to stretch further.

Meanwhile, flats are taking the longest time to sell at an average of 32 days – although this still remains quick.

Richard Donnell, research and insight director, Zoopla, said: “Housing market conditions remain unseasonably strong despite the UK moving into recession.

“Demand continues to outpace supply and support house price growth of 2.5 per cent per annum.

“Meanwhile, houses are selling faster than flats as we see a shift in buyer priorities in the wake of the lockdown and movers prioritise more space.

“The next important milestone for the housing market comes in September as schools reopen and the UK starts to get back towards a full reopening of the economy.

“The ‘once in a lifetime’ re-evaluation of housing requirements on the back of the lockdown will be a counterweight to the impact of the recession on housing market activity over the rest of 2020.

“While demand has softened over August, we expect the current momentum in market activity to continue into the autumn.”