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Selling Up? It’s still a long process, new figures suggest

Estate agency data shows that the average time it takes for a landlord other vendor to sell a house has dropped by 0.7% in the past year, falling from 241 days down to 240 days. 

But while the national picture looks largely unchanged, there are a number of local markets where the timeline has either sped up or slowed down to a remarkable extent. 

Yopa’s latest internal data release of over 150,000 transactions looked at the time it’s taking to sell a home and how this has changed on an annual basis, based on the point of instruction through to completion. 


The data reveals that across Britain, the average time it takes to complete on the sale of a home has fallen from 241 days to 240, marking a marginal annual reduction of one day, equivalent to a reduction of -0.7%. 

However, some parts of Britain have seen the average time to sell drop significantly.

In Hampshire’s Test Valley district, the average time to sell in 2022 was an incredible 1,045 days from instruction to completion. This timeframe of almost three years might seem impossible to overcome in just 12 months, but Yopa’s data shows that by 2023, the average days to sell had fallen to just 216 days, marking a reduction of -829 days (-79.3%). 

In Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, the average time to sell has fallen from 687 days to 249, marking a reduction of -438 days (-63.8%); while in Chichester the current average of 185 days marks an annual reduction of -428 days (-69.8%). 

South Somerset has reduced its time to sell by -402 days to sit at a current average of 232 days; and Lancaster has slashed its timeline by -376 days with completions now taking an average of just 98 days.  

Lancaster now has the second-fastest selling timeline in the country, beaten only by the Vale of White Horse in Oxfordshire where it takes an average of just 88 days to sell a home.

While many areas of the market have seen a reduction in the time it’s taking to sell a home, there remain some parts of Britain where the process has slowed dramatically. 

Nowhere is this more evident than in Suffolk’s local authority district of Forest Heath. Here, the current average selling timeline is 595 days is +451 days more than 2022’s average of 144 days. 

In Warwick, the average has increased by +326 days so that it now takes 552 days to sell; and in Ribble Valley, Lancashire, the annual increase is +312 days.

A Yopa spokesperson says: “It’s been a strange few years for the UK property market and there’s no doubt that cooling market conditions have caused some sellers considerable delays when selling, due to the fact that they simply haven’t been able to secure a buyer at the speeds seen in previous years. 

“Of course, a slower market does have its benefits for those who are able to find a buyer. With the industry coming under less strain due to lower sales volumes, the actual process of moving from accepting an offer to completion has improved considerably in some areas of the nation.”

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  • Philip Dubberley

    In my experience the legal process is the real problem here


    Absolutely. Before Covid one could complete on a property within six weeks. Now it is a minimum of 12 weeks for the legal processes. I don’t think working from home helps.

  • icon

    Selling my last 2 was quick, they went to FTB’ers, it was the solicitors that were slow 👎🏻, taking on too much work I suspect.


    Or dragging it out in order to charge more is more likely


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