Homes sell in recordbreaking time

Plus, lack of space for children, the nation's favourite renovations, and tax return hotspots for landlords

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The Independent Online

The average time it takes to sell a home in Britain has dropped to 88 days, 16 days faster compared to the same time last year, says a new report.

This is the fastest selling time recorded since 2007, according to Move with Us.

Properties in Greater London sold the fastest between April and June at an average of 43 days, followed by the South East and East Anglia (59 and 68 days respectively).

Homes were slowest to sell in the North East where the average selling time was 138 days, although this is 50 days faster compared to a year ago.

"The market has gained a spring in its step thanks to increased confidence and more readily available funding bringing more buyers to the market," said Robin King, Director at Move with Us.

"Faster selling times have now spread outside Greater London and the South East where competition has always been relatively strong compared to areas such as the East and West Midlands where the market has taken longer to recover. The average selling time is now almost back to the pre-crash levels of 2007. 

Children suffer from lack of space due to rising house prices

More than half of parents think their children need more space at home, according to research from Post Office Mortgage.

Its new report suggests that children share bedrooms in a fifth of UK households, which for one in 10 homes is due to a lack of space,

Around 58 per cent of  parents wish their children had bigger rooms in which to study and play, and a further two thirds would like to move in to a bigger house. However, they can expect to wait an average of four years before they will be able to upsize, and a third doubt they will ever be able to move up the property ladder.

In almost a third of households, adults have a smaller bedroom than their children, says the report.

Most expensive tax return hotspots for landlords

Accountants are cashing in on the thousands of new landlords who are struggling to work out their tax returns, according to

Its research suggests landlords are paying up to 6.5 per cent of their annual rental income to have their tax return completed, with accountants in the Greater London area charging on average £426.

It's followed by the North West where the average return cost is lower at £393 but comes in at a higher 4.93 per cent of the annual rental income, and then the West Midlands (£363 and 4.85 per cent).

Renovation nation

Three quarters of UK homeowners are proud of their homes, but only one per cent feel they have achieved the vision for their home, according to a survey of 8,000 people by renovation and design specialists Houzz.

One third decorate their homes at least once a year. Improving the look and feel (78 per cent) and improving functionality (55 per cent) top the list of reasons to renovate, with a third  renovating with the aim of adding value to their home.

The report shows that more than eight of 10 choose a neutral palette for their homes, white, cream and grey the most popular selection. Magnolia is now found in less than one quarter of homes, though green is on the rise, with 26 percent of UK homeowners opting for this on their walls.

Around 35 per cent of those surveyed have increased the size of their home in the past five years, with more loft conversions planned in  London than anywhere else in the UK.

When asked what feature homeowners would most like to incorporate in their home, one in five picked designer kitchens, followed by a conservatory (nine per cent), swimming pool (eight per cent) and underfloor heating (six per cent).