Property news roundup: Time to agree home sales at lowest level since 2007

Plus, urban property outstrips rural homes, and first time buyers powering market

In the last three months of 2013, it took on average less than eight and a half weeks to agree a price, nearly two weeks less than the same period in 2012, according to Hamptons International. 

This means that the time taken from advertising a home for sale to agreeing a price has fallen to its lowest level for six years.

In London, a property averages less than five and a half weeks on the market before an offer is accepted, although it takes more than double this time to agree a price in Wales, where it takes an average of more than 14 weeks to agree a sale.

However, the time between an agreed sale and exchange has risen from 10 weeks in 2012 to 11 today, partly due to increasingly complex mortgage procedures says Hamptons.

Johnny Morris, Head of Research at Hamptons International said: "While the time to agree a sale has fallen by a fifth, which chimes with the recovery in the market, the average masks a wide variation.

"One in 10 property sales are agreed  in the first week and two thirds in a month, but some have been around much longer. These stalwarts of unsold stock have been popping up in portal searches for as long as we can remember which just goes to show that even in a sellers’ market, not everything shifts quickly.”

Urban vs rural

Asking prices for properties in England's urban areas have risen faster than those in rural ones over the last 12 months, according to PrimeLocation.com.

The average asking price of homes in towns and cities across England has gone up by 12.9 per cent over the last year compared to 8.3 per cent for properties in the countryside.

Country properties have seen the biggest rise in value over the past year in the North West with asking prices up 17.5 per cent.

"Urban areas have been boosted by the strengthening economic recovery and growing jobs numbers," said Lawrence Hall of PrimeLocation.com. "And this boost is driving up demand and pricing for properties in towns and cities across England. We’re seeing similar, albeit slightly slower, growth in property prices in rural areas thanks to increased demand as buyers seek out more affordable options. However, anyone looking for a country retreat at a good price might be wise to act now before prices rise even further."

First time buyers rushing to buy

First time buyers returned to the property market in January faster than any other type of customer, according to Connells Survey & Valuation. In January there were 56 per cent more new buyers than in December 2013.

John Bagshaw, Corporate Services Director of Connells Survey & Valuation, comments: “A certain New Year jump is normal – but this January has felt more like a stampede. The seasonal rebound between December and January has been significantly stronger than we usually experience.

“One factor is the effect of government schemes – the vast majority of Help to Buy loans have been taken out by first time buyers. But alongside this is a wider movement, fuelled by a general surge of confidence and a new willingness by lenders to target new buyers."

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk