Quick to sell areas

When you’re selling or buying a house, you always want the sale to go smoothly. But in which parts of the country do houses sell the quickest? And what time of year is best to buy and sell?
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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.

What is the average time to sell a house?

Graphic of chart containing the average time to sell over the years

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.

Graphic of a chart containing the average time to sell a property between the years of 2016-2022

When is the best time of year to sell a house?

2016201720182019202020212022Average
Jan5358586460523254
Feb4754546254522950
Mar4146485546442544
Apr3337404744322136
May3638404556262137
Jun384043475925-42
Jul424446495026-43
Aug464750513527-43
Sep494953523128-44
Oct505055533328-45
Nov515156543829-47
Dec545459574429-50

(- = 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.

Where are the most in-demand areas in the UK?

Graphic of a map containing the most in demand areas in the UK

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.

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