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Qué? It is quicker to learn a language than to sell a house - claim

The typical time taken to sell a property has got so long that people could learn a language before a transaction completes.

That is the claim from property purchasing firm HBB Solutions.

It analysed sales timeline data from The Advisory website and compared it with other activities such as learning a language or taking a round the world cruise.


In the UK, it currently takes an average of 129 days or 4.2 months to sell a home from the moment a property is put on the market to the moment contracts of sale are signed, HBB Solutions claims.

In contrast, HBB Solutions research found that it can take around 480 hours or 20 days to learn the basics of French, German Italian or Spanish.

Broken down to five hours of learning a day, this works out at between three to four months.

It also takes longer to sell a house than it does to complete an around-the-world cruise. To fully circumnavigate the planet, stopping to enjoy various points of interest along the way, it takes 120 days, or four months. 

Chris Hodgkinson, managing director of HBB Solutions, says: “The UK’s property transaction process is notoriously protracted and despite a huge degree of technological innovation in recent years, many aspects remain reliant on archaic practices and processes.  

“As a result, homebuyers are still subjected to a lengthy timeline when looking to sell their home and, when you consider you could fly to the moon and back 21 times or learn a foreign language in the same timeframe, it really puts it into perspective. 

“But it’s not just the time it takes to sell that needs addressing.

"The fact that a sale can collapse right up until the final moments is also a source of great stress and anxiety for home sellers and it’s fair to say that both issues seriously need addressing.”  

Time to sell a home vs other activities
Activity Info Est time frame
Walk Walk length of Britain-Lands End to John O'Groats (including rest days) Approx 90 days/3 months 1.4 times
Cruise Around the world cruise Approx 120 days/4 months
Learn Learning a language (Group 1 type - easiest difficulty - French, German, Italian, Spanish) Approx 480 hours/20days - 5 hours per day - approx 3 to 4 months
Eat Michelin Star restaurants - Dinner by Heston Blumenthal 3.5 months
Fly Fly to the Moon and back 21.5 times Earth to Moon approx 3 days (return trip approx 6 days)
Time to sell Average time to sell a house (first day of marketing to legal completion) 129 days/4.2 months

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