The average time to sell a home jumped by 15 days year-on-year in March as the UK’s housing market was impacted by increased living costs and soaring inflation.
Estate agent Zoopla said homes in London took the longest time to sell with property taking an average of 44 days, likely fuelled by the soaring prices of homes in the nation’s capital where the average price of a property was £285k.
Carlos Riveros, manager of Chestertons’ West End office, told City A.M. : “In central London, the majority of sellers are in no rush to sell and are therefore willing to wait for higher offers before even considering a price reduction. Inevitably, this extends the timeframe that a property is listed,.
“Each of London’s neighbourhoods has its own micro-market which means properties can sell faster in one area than in another,” he added.
According to Zoopla there were 65 per cent more homes available for sale compared to March last year – with the average estate agent having 25 homes available for sale, compared to a low of 14 in March last year.
Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla said: “The housing market is arguably more balanced than it has been for more than three years. Levels of supply have recovered and buyers and sellers are not miles apart on where they see pricing and this means deals are being agreed at an increasing rate.”
House prices and demand have been slowly recovering from the fall out from last September’s mini Budget when the then Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced plans to make £45bn of unfunded tax cuts.
The market has been slowly stabilising since most of the measures have been scrapped.
This month’s figures by Zoopla also show average house prices have fallen by one per cent since last October.
The quarterly growth rate has also been negative for the last three months – the weakest level of quarterly house price growth since 2011. However, Donnell said that when it came to the housing market: “fears of a major downturn in prices are overdone.”.
He explained: “Falling mortgage rates and a strong labour market are supporting activity levels from committed movers who need to be realistic on price if they are serious about moving home in 2023. We expect to see levels of activity continue to steadily improve over Easter and into the summer and H2.”