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Graham Awards


Time to sell soars by over 110 days in worst hit part of Britain

It now takes an average 12 days longer to complete a sale in Britain compared to a year ago - but in some parts of the country it’s considerable longer, with one area taking a remarkable 117 days longer.

Research by comparison website GetAgent has analysed portal and Land Registry data, focusing on selling times between January and November in both 2019 and 2020 to give a like-for-like comparison on the change in market conditions.

Sale time is measured from first listing to actual completion.


The West Midlands has seen the longest delays with transactions now taking 17 days longer to complete than last year. The East Midlands isn’t far behind, with an increase of 14 days to sell a home, with Scotland (16 days) and Yorkshire and the Humber (15 days) also seeing some of the largest increases.

The South West remains largely unchanged, with the time to sell in 2020 increasing by only one day so far.

On a smaller geographical basis, the City of London has seen the time taken to sell a home increase by a huge 117 days in 2020, up from an average of 197 days to 314.

Stirling has seen the second-largest increase and the largest in Scotland, with the time to sell now taking 75 days longer, along with Aberdeenshire with an increase of 58 days.

Craven has seen an increase of 58 days, with the Scottish Borders (51 days), Highlands (51 days) and Moray (41 days) also home to some of the largest increases.

Denbighshire has seen the largest increase in the time to sell across Wales at 40 days, while Preston, Midlothian, Wyre, East Renfrewshire, Torbay, West Berkshire, North East Lincolnshire, Three Rivers, North Warwickshire, Salford, Manchester and Tower Hamlets also make the top 20.

“Lockdown restrictions stopped the market in its tracks during the spring which would have delayed pretty much every sale already in the pipeline. We’ve also seen many cogs of the selling process hit with furlough and redundancies which have reduced their operational capacity and hindered their ability to process transactions at the same speed” explains GetAgent founder Colby Short.

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    It's also worth noting that land registries seem to have packed their bags, gone home and enjoyed being salaried for very poor service in return. Scotland especially bad, coupled with non electronic processes and records, but there is little if any redress.

  • Phil Priest

    Oh boy what a mess. Recent reports state that there are over 500k instructions 'stuck' in the pipeline with the vast majority of these going to miss out on any stamp duty holiday too.

    But surely this is proving one thing. The way in which professionals in the industry work is archaic, yet they keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
    The workload on conveyancers is now at an all time high with more instructions from mortgage advisors and estate agents only adding to the work load creating unhappy and frustrated clients leading to more calls and emails for updates leading to more delays..

    A good plumber know that s**t flows downhill. One thing a good plumber does is to turn off the flow at the top to prevent this. Somehow the 'professionals' in this industry just keep the tap on and the work flowing in and expect everyone to cope.


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