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North East is the UK’s slowest property market

November 2017

Sunderland is the slowest-moving property market in the UK, with 28.5% of properties currently advertised for sale, first listed at least six months ago, according to research conducted by online estate agents Liverpool (24.9%), Bradford (19.8%), Middlesbrough (19.8%) and Newcastle (18.6%) make up the five slowest property markets in the UK, according to the length of time properties have remained unsold. looked at the number of property listings in 50 major UK towns and cities, and the percentage of those listings that were at least six and 12 months old. The figures revealed that 12.5% of property listings UK-wide were at least six months old, and the five slowest moving property markets were all in the north of England, with three of the five in the north east. There wasn’t a single city in the south of the country that appeared in the list of the 10 slowest UK property markets.

14.3% of properties for sale in Sunderland have been on the market at least 12 months. That is almost four times the UK average, and nearly 50 times more than in Reading, which had the lowest percentage of one-year-old property stock.

The fastest moving property market, according to HouseSimple research, are Belfast, followed by Northampton and Reading.  Less than 2% of current property listings in Belfast were at least six months old; while, in Northampton and Reading, 3.0% and 3.6% of properties for sale have been on the market six months or more.

Property prices have been falling in London but so has the percentage of properties still on the market after six months. In March, 13.8% of properties across London still remained unsold after six months, but that figure has dropped to 12%.

But HouseSimple research reveals a massive disparity between boroughs in terms of the fluidity of the market.  Currently, 22.5% of properties listed for sale in the City of Westminster were first marketed at least six months ago.  That compares with just 0.6% in the borough of Waltham Forest.  Average property prices in the City of Westminster are significantly higher than Waltham Forest, where prices are comparatively affordable when compared to other boroughs in London. Stamp duty changes have also hit the top end of the market, resulting in fewer buyers.

Alex Gosling,’s CEO, comments: “Across the fifty towns and cities we looked at, the length of time it’s taking for properties to sell appears to be falling. Eight months ago, when we carried out the same research, 13% of properties listed had been on the market at least six months. That figure has now fallen to 12.5%. Similarly, in London, we’ve seen a 1.8% drop since March.”

“It would be foolhardy to say that the market has dramatically improved and that normality has been restored. In London, particularly, what we’re seeing is recognition from sellers that prices have cooled and that to secure a sale they need to be more flexible on price.  And Brexit is definitely playing its part. No-one knows what is around the corner and there will be sellers who are keen to secure a sale while the market remains reasonably stable and are willing to negotiate with buyers who are in a position to proceed.”

“In any market, but especially in the current climate of uncertainty, sellers need to price sensibly if they want to attract buyers. That doesn’t mean discounting heavily, but If you price too high for the area your home won’t sell, even if it’s an exceptional property.  It’s very easy now for potential buyers to check sold prices along streets to see if a property is over-priced.  Also, be prepared to negotiate if you want to get a quick sale.  For the sake of a few thousand pounds, it might be worth taking a lower offer from a committed buyer, particularly if they’re not having to sell something at the same time.”

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