Scotland Home Buyers Now Move Faster Than London
The latest figures suggest that Scotland has overtaken London as the speediest place for a home seller to find a buyer.
Going back to 2014, it took on average 36 days for a London seller to secure a buyer. By 2018 this figure rose to 60 days, according to Rightmove.
On the other hand, over the same time period, this figure fell from 66 days to 41 days in Scotland.
Various sources have evidenced the property market has slowed in the South East of England and London in particular. Average national house prices are still on the rise, with the exception of London where there has been a substantial drop.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove's housing market analyst said the following: "Whilst it would be easy to link that with the Brexit vote, there are other factors at play, especially increasingly stretched buyer affordability,".
One theory which constitutes as one of the 'other factors', is the increased help from parents helping first-time buyers move directly into houses, as opposed to flats. Consequently flat sellers are taking longer to sell their properties in England and Wales.
Changes in taxation have also resulted in a decrease in the demand for buy-to-let investments, despite many investors having developed a portfolio of apartments.
Kate Faulkner, housing analyst and managing director of Propertychecklists.co.uk, said that "Sellers needed to be well prepared if they wanted a swift sale of a flat.".
For those wishing to sell their flat she suggested:
- Be clear with potential buyers about the time remaining on the lease, service charges and ground rent.
- Ensure paperwork preparations are made for the leasehold management pack, which can cost money and take time to complete.
- Use solicitors who are conversant with the rules and information required when a leasehold property is sold.
Older flats are also in direct competition with a plethora of new-build developments which often boast a range of benefits and amenities such as, shops, gyms and restaurants.
She also recommended being realistic when pricing the property, and showcasing the space inside the flat.
"De-clutter and de-personalise as much as possible. Show off the space and give people a blank canvas to imagine living there," she said.
Kevin Peachey, BBC, (2019) , https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49235452
Property Wire, (2019), https://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/homes-sell-faster-in-scotland-new-figures-show/
Melissa Lawford, Financial Times, (2019), https://www.ft.com/content/c7538da2-878d-11e9-b861-54ee436f9768
Rightmove, (2019), https://www.rightmove.co.uk/news/house-price-index/