Despite rising prices and a global pandemic, the housing market has continued to stay strong in the UK.
Houses are still changing hands across the country, but some areas remain more in demand than others.
Using Zoopla data, here are the areas where the time between listing a house and a sale being agreed upon is the lowest.
If you’re one of the many people house-hunting at the moment, make sure to compare mortgages to get the very best deal ahead of your move.
In May 2022, the average time to sell a house was 21 days. Interestingly, this is the quickest that the average house sale has been in the last five years.
Note that this is when the seller accepts an offer. It could still be as much as three months before the transaction is complete and you can move in!
But how has that figure changed in the last few years? The average number of days to a sale has generally fluctuated but on the whole, has seen a decrease.
A year previously, the average number of days to a sale was 26, but if we look back to May of 2016, it was even higher, at 36 days.
This means that in total, the average number of days it takes to sell a house has decreased by 60% between January 2016 and May 2022.
The month where the average sale time took the longest was January 2019, where the average sale took over two months (64 days).
In terms of years, 2022 (so far) is the year where house sales are going through the quickest, at an average of 26 days.
In contrast, 2019 saw sales drag on the longest, averaging at 53 days to agree upon a sale.
(- = data is unavailable)
Looking at the average time to sell a house for each month, we can see that the average time tends to peak around the turn of the year.
January is the month where house sales take the longest, averaging 54 days, which is just under two months.
The property market generally tends to speed up in the spring, with the fastest average selling time in April, at 36 days on average.
So, why is this the case? Winter is likely to be a quiet time for housebuying due to people being occupied by the Christmas celebrations, while many people are on summer holidays from June to August.
However, Spring is generally a much quieter time of year for most people, which could be why houses sell quickly at this time.
Most years tend to roughly follow this same pattern, with 2020 as the notable exception.
This year, the average time to sell a house saw a rapid increase from 44 days in April to 56 in May following the first coronavirus lockdown.
Following this, the average time to sell a house dropped considerably from 50 days in July to 35 in August as restrictions started to ease.
Here’s a look at the areas that have seen the most interest from potential buyers in the UK property market.
The majority of these are located in built-up, urban areas such as Newcastle and Sheffield, reflecting the job opportunities available in such areas.
However, there are still a handful of more rural areas on the list, such as Moray in Scotland and Monmouthshire in Wales.
If you’re looking for a speedy sale, many choose to go to a company that will buy your house from you for cash, although you’ll generally get far less for it.
If you don’t want to go down this route, there are some steps you can take to try and sell quickly.
The first is obviously to lower your asking price. This solution clearly won’t be for everyone, but if you do need to sell quickly, then it’s worth considering.
If not, then you need to pull out all the stops in terms of presentation, making sure that your house is tidy and free of clutter.
As well as keeping your house organised, you have to be organised yourself too. This means having all of the necessary paperwork completed as soon as possible so that things can keep moving.
Finally, make sure to talk to your estate agent if your sale isn’t progressing as quickly as you’d like, as they may be able to help suggest a solution.
As of May 2022, the average house sale takes 21 days in the UK. However, it’s important to note that this is the time between a property listing online and a sale being agreed upon.
All in all, the actual time it might take for potential buyers to move in could be more like three months by the time contracts have been exchanged.
According to Zoopla’s data, the best time to sell a house is during April, where the average sale takes 36 days, lower than any other month.
More generally, spring is the quickest time to sell a house, as most buyers aren’t preoccupied with other things such as Christmas and summer holidays.
When you move, you have the choice of moving (porting) your mortgage to the new property or applying for a new one.
The majority of mortgages can be ported like this, which can be the best option if you’re already on a good deal.
When doing this, the lender will still have to carry out affordability checks and the new property will be valued to make sure that you’re still eligible.
Even if the option is there to move your existing mortgage, it’s a good idea to shop around and see what other mortgage deals are out there.
Whether you're looking to buy, sell, or just want to learn when the best time is to find your next home, here are some guides to help inspire you.
Using internal data sourced from Zoopla, we’d like to show the following:
The most in-demand areas in the UK
The most in-demand local authorities in each region based on Zoopla’s internal data.
The average time to sell a house
The average number of days between listing and a sale being agreed, looking at houses that were listed within each month. We can also show how this has changed since 2016.
The best time of year to sell a house
Using the above data we’ll also show how long it takes to sell a house in each month of the year and which are the quickest.
For all of the above, we’ll need to make it clear that the time to sell refers to the days between a property being listed on Zoopla and a sale being agreed, and that it could still be a couple of months after this that a buyer can actually move in.
Average time to sell a house [Search Volume 390, Keyword Difficulty 39, Ranking Page: https://www.theadvisory.co.uk/house-selling/how-long-does-selling-take/]
How fast will my house sell? [Search Volume 50, Keyword Difficulty 35, Ranking Page:
Best time of year to sell a house [Search Volume 170, Keyword Difficulty 22, Ranking Page: https://bestgapp.co.uk/news/when-is-the-best-time-to-sell-a-house/#:~:text=When%20do%20homes%20sell%20quickly,many%20people%20are%20on%20holiday.]