Homes that have sold in last year took almost 17 weeks from start to completion

A new housing market tracker has been launched which looks at how long homes are taking to sell.

Crucially, it only looks at properties that actually do sell and its first tracker only looks at properties that sold in the space of a year – from June 2018 to this month.

On average, quick sale business Property Solvers found that the average home took 16.74 weeks to sell – ie, from initial listing on Rightmove to ‘sold’ status at the Land Registry.

The slowest housing markets included Hemel Hemstead where 790 properties were tracked, taking an average of 19 weeks between listing and completion.

The fastest housing markets were in central London, where transactions took ten weeks.

The full data, regionally split, is here:


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  1. Rob Hailstone

    In Scotland it takes substantially less time to complete a transaction.
    Further to a trip to Edinburgh earlier this week, set out below is a summary of the main differences to the conveyancing process North of the border:
    Without doubt the time from offer to completion is a lot shorter in Scotland (probably three times quicker than in England & Wales), but not as short as it used to be, pre-MMR.
    There are a number of reasons for this:  
    •             Earlier conveyancer involvement
    •             More information provided upfront
    •             Conditional contracts
    •             Sellers in Scotland who put their property on the market (with a few exceptions) have to provide a Home Report. This contains a Property Questionnaire prepared by the seller, a report on the condition of the property prepared by a surveyor and an Energy Performance Certificate
    •             Searches, provided by the seller
    •             A (reasonable) completion date suggested very early on to aim towards
    •             Clearly defined timescales, exist, for example if a buyer’s conveyancer has a concern over a title issue then they have to raise this within 2 weeks of receipt of the document and the seller has 6 weeks in which to resolve the issue, otherwise either party can walk away
    •             The buyers and seller’s behaviour differs in that a buyer will instruct a solicitor to make their offer for them. This ensures that a conveyancer is instructed much earlier in the process and can complete AML checks etc early on
    •             Mortgage offers are quicker because the valuation is in the Home Report and passed to the buyer’s lender.  Sellers can, if they wish, rectify a defect with the property when the draft valuation is presented which can reduce delays caused by condition issues at the point of mortgage instruction  
    On the East coast in particular the estate agent and the solicitor/conveyancer are in the same office and part of the same business. This is an obvious overarching point but it facilitates various aspects of the transaction and is another factor that may reduce time to achieving a binding commitment.  
    One missing piece maybe, the buyer obtaining a mortgage offer in principle would also help.  
    However, the market is much smaller and the conveyancers, pretty much all know each other, so there is a lot of trust involved. In fact, signed Transfers and deeds are often sent before completion and completions are sometimes carried out by way of client account checks being posted just prior to completion! This process is underlined by the concept of legal delivery i.e. a deed may be physically held by another party but has to be treated as undelivered for legal purposes – any breach of that would lead to dire professional consequences.  
    Not all is as good as they would like though. Apparently, there are far too many simultaneous (or very close) exchanges and completions! 

  2. Chris Wood

    What is the median number? Averages can be misleading/ hide real insights.

  3. PeeBee

    From the company website:

    “We created this tool as a means of bringing a dose of realism into the marketplace and demonstrate that what estate agents often claim to be the ‘real’ value of a property is often exaggerated.”

    From the article above:

    “…quick sale business Property Solvers found…”

    A couple of things to highlight there.

    “Quick sale”.


    Forgive me for appearing just a tad cynical… but on the face of it they might have reason for coming up with this “tool”.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Not convinced that their data set is large enough to be statistically relevant.

    In RH20 they tracked 30 sales out a total 368 completions.

    IN N8 they tracked 18 sales out of 370 completions.

    I’ve owned property in both of those postcodes which is why I chose them (observer bias – I know).

    But it is potentially dangerous to draw conclusions when you have only studied less than 10% of the available data…

    1. PeeBee

      “But it is potentially dangerous to draw conclusions when you have only studied less than 10% of the available data…”
      Or, some might think, chose which 10% of the available data to study…

      1. Anonymous Coward

        An excellent point, so there might even be an element of selection bias in their data as well as insufficient data.

  5. coleface

    This is miles off in my view. My Home Move data across tens of thousands of transactions has the average transaction times at 90 days and in excess of 100 for Leasehold – that’s from instructions to them.

    And Rightmove date says its nearly 90 days average time to find a buyer. So that’s much more like 26 weeks which more accurately reflects our own experience at my Company.

    Pretty shocking.

    What’s a real shame is that collectively this message cant be broadcast to the public. How many business models don’t charge a penny to a client until the very end of a 6 month process? And if at any point it comes off the market or falls through the fee is £0 – no matter how much time and effort has gone in to it?

    And yet the PB marketing millions have manipulated the situation cleverly / underhandedly to make us look the bad guys and their BS offering value. Frustrating.


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