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Revealed: the cities where it takes longest to sell

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The average time it takes to sell a property across the country has risen to a three-year high
Revealed: the cities where it takes longest to sell

The weakest housing market conditions in any UK city are in Aberdeen, resulting from the fall in the oil price since 2015, according to Zoopla.

The property portal found that average home values are £46,969 lower in the city than they were in mid-2015, and it takes 15.5 weeks on average to sell.

The second slowest market is London, where residential properties now take 14.5 weeks to sell, over a month (5.3 weeks) longer than in 2016. Sellers in London are accepting offers from buyers that are on average 5.7% below their asking price.

In fact, time to sell across southern cities has accelerated, with homes taking an average of 11.6 weeks to sell, in comparison to just 7.4 weeks in 2016. Discount to asking price has also increased over the last three years from 1.7% to 3.8% in the south of England.

Strongest markets

At the other end of the scale, the strongest market conditions are in Scotland, where a different system for sales transactions, makes for the fastest time to sell of all UK Cities. Specifically, homes in Glasgow and Edinburgh sell within five or six weeks. With property typically marketed as ‘offers over’, Glasgow and Edinburgh are also the only UK Cities not to register a discount, instead commanding an average of 6-7% above the asking price.

Rising employment levels and attractive affordability are boosting demand in cities across the Midlands and North of England, resulting in above average house price growth. The majority (75%) of UK Cities in these regions are registering an average time to sell of between 8.4 and 9.5 weeks, with sellers accepting the smallest discounts to asking price of 2 to 3%.

The list below shows the fastest and slowest cities when it comes to time taken to sell your home:

Edinburgh – 5.0 weeks
Glasgow – 5.8 weeks
Birmingham – 8.4 weeks
Nottingham – 8.5 weeks
Leeds – 8.5 weeks
Cardiff – 8.8 weeks
Leicester – 9.1 weeks
Manchester – 9.4 weeks
Sheffield – 9.5 weeks
Bristol – 10.0 weeks
>Liverpool – 10.2 weeks
Cambridge – 10.2 weeks
Portsmouth – 10.8 weeks
Southampton – 12.2 weeks
Newcastle – 12.6 weeks
Bournemouth – 13.0 weeks
Oxford – 14.1 weeks
London – 14.5 weeks 
Aberdeen – 15.5 weeks

Market slowdown

The time to sell a home across UK Cities hit a three year-high in September, taking 12 weeks on average, said Zoopla. Residential properties are taking nearly a month longer to sell than they did in 2016, with vendors accepting offers that are an average of 3.8% or £9,800 lower than the initial asking price.

Richard Donnell, research and insight director at Zoopla, said: “Market conditions are set to remain weak in southern cities until pricing levels adjust to what buyers are willing, or can afford, to pay. London is three years into a re-pricing process, and we expect sales volumes to slowly improve over 2020, while house price growth remains subdued.

“There are large parts of the country where housing affordability remains attractive, fuelled by continued economic growth that supports demand for homes, resulting in reasonable sales periods and only modest gaps between sales and asking prices.”

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