The north-south divide is closing in terms of the time it takes to sell a property, according to Bradford & Bingley. Homes in the North of England are selling two weeks faster and in Scotland one week faster than in February. House sales in the South East have remained constant at eight weeks.
The average time taken from when a property appears on the market to when a sale is agreed is now nine weeks. The ‘ripple effect’ emanating from the housing boom in London and the South East has reached as far as Yarm and Stokesley in the North, where the time taken to find a buyer is now on average only one week.
Jim Jamison, chief operating officer at Bradford & Bingley, says that activity in the housing market is below 1999 levels. A combination of factors account for this, including interest rate rises, increases in stamp duty and the abolition of Miras in April. However, so far these do not appear to have had a negative effect on the speed of house sales.
He said that recent reports claiming the housing boom is over because property price increases have slowed are unfounded.
“While prices may have dropped as a result of buyers being more discerning about the price they are prepared to pay for a property, our research indicates that realistically-priced homes are still selling quickly,” he said.
The report also shows that properties are now achieving 98% of their asking price compared with 97% in February.