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Drive round the streets of the UK and you may notice some things never change. A familiar shop front, a piece of graffiti or a favourite park bench. At present, one of those may also be a ‘for sale’ board. It hasn’t gone unnoticed that some properties are stubbornly sticking around, with no hint of the ‘for sale’ being changed to ‘sold’.

It has been proven that property is taking longer to sell this year. In May 2023, it took home sellers an average of 49 days to find a buyer, according to analysis by Hamptons of data held within 550 branches of the Connells Group. For context, a buyer was found in an average of 26 days back in May 2022. What a difference 12 months make.

Number of days to sell increases

Fast forward to autumn and the sales situation is getting worse, not better. Hamptons performed the same analysis exercise and found the average home sold in September 2023 had been on the market for 57 days before finding a purchaser. The grim reality is that it's now the slowest time to sell a property in Great Britain since 2012 – not ideal if you need to sell house fast.

It’s an exceptionally worrying time for sellers who have had no viewings but need to sell quickly, especially if you have a larger property. The Hamptons analysis also found it took a month longer to sell a four-bedroom home in September 2023, when compared to September 2022. That’s an extra monthly mortgage outgoing at a time when repayments are peaking for many.

The news for those whose door number is 13 also makes for poor reading. When Rightmove studied the valuations of over 10 million houses numbered 1 to 100, it found properties numbered 13 were typically valued the lowest, suggesting some superstitious buyers overlook owning a home with the unlucky number. If you have a four-bedroom property at number 13, you may be short on enquiries.

Fall through rates are on the rise

Claiming that all properties are stuck on the market isn’t entirely true. Some properties do successfully find a buyer and that ‘for sale’ board is happily changed to ‘sold’. Sadly, some vendors have to watch ‘sold’ return to ‘for sale’ some weeks later, with their sale scuppered.

Looking at the data available, roughly 1 in 4 ‘sold’ signs revert back to ‘for sale’ – which is about average - but the fall-though rate is beginning to creep up. The trend was reported by trade website Property Industry Eye at the end of June this year.

We would expect the percentage of sales that eventually fall though to be around 25% but the article noticed this figure had crept up to 27.66%. For those that find it hard to apply percentages to real-life situations, an average of 5,139 property sales are falling through every week during 2023.

Sales on the market are susceptible

Was your sale one of those figures? Are you worried about tougher selling conditions in the imminent future? There is reason to question the fragility of sales on the open market when you digest Rightmove’s October House Price Index.

The portal says the number of sales agreed in October 2023 was 17% below the number of sales noted during the same month in 2022. A combination of sellers failing to adjust their asking prices and higher mortgage rates is creating a disparity between what buyers are willing to offer and what vendors will accept. The gap means just 6 in 10 properties for sale now successfully find a buyer – down from 8 in 10 when the market was at its most buoyant.

More choice, fewer chances

There is another reason why sellers may find their home is overlooked and that’s increasing choice. A new study by GetAgent found the level of new ‘for sale’ stock coming to market has increased dramatically of late. It found in the first two weeks of October 2023, 97,500 new-to-market homes were listed. That’s a 128% increase when compared to the start of the year, during which 42,825 homes were listed in a two week period.

More choice means buyers can be picky and a greater number of properties for sale are disregarded, especially if there are additional complications such as a short lease, sitting tenants or dilapidations. Direct sales that bypass the open market make sense when buyers are in the driving seat and sellers have pressing deadlines

Your home, under offer within hours

Open Property Group is perfect for sellers who have either been stuck on the open market for some time, for sellers whose chain has collapsed or for new sellers who don’t want to hang around. We cut out the middleman – the estate agent – and buy direct from the homeowner.

We’ll give you an almost immediate cash offer and if it’s agreeable, we can work towards an exchange to suit your timetable – within seven working days if desired. There’s no time lost listing your home on Rightmove, waiting for enquiries, booking viewings or haggling over offers.

Open Property Group will turn the average of 57 days to find a purchaser into a matter of hours. We’re actively buying properties like yours, even if your home is in poor condition, has a short lease or even has tenants in situ. And did we mention there are no selling fees when you choose us as your buyer, and we’ll also cover your legal costs too? Start with a free online cash offer or contact us to discuss your sale.

Published on 19th October 2023

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