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Too late for agents and vendors to complete sales by Christmas - claim

Auctioneers have a better chance than agents of getting homes sold by Christmas, an industry figure claims.

Jeremy Prior, managing director of Auction House, has claimed many vendors may already be too late to secure a sale by the traditional festive period milestone despite it only being the height of summer.

His comments come as the latest figures from Zoopla show the average time taken from searching for a home to exchange via the traditional private treaty method is rising – currently standing at around 170 days, or five and a half months.


Prior said: “In the height of the British summer, it seems ridiculous to suggest that those wanting to sell their home via private treaty before Christmas may already be too late. But that’s the unfortunate reality.

“Contrast that with unconditional auction, when a few weeks of active marketing before the date of the auction can lead to the deal being done on the fall of the hammer. 

“Whilst selling prices in estate agency often end up lower than the quoted guide price, the bidding process in the competitive environment of an auction means the final selling price is often higher. For many properties out there, there’s no better way.”

However, Auction House is sounding a note of caution over expectations, saying that the second half of the year is likely to be more testing than the first.

Prior added: “Nationally, the statistics show that the rate of monthly house price growth fell to its lowest rate since December 2019, with average values up just 0.1% in May this year.

“So, despite what appears to be a very robust situation currently, there are signs that the impetus in the property market as a whole is slowing, and buyers are becoming more sensitive to price.

“We put this down to a complex cocktail of soaring inflation, rising interest rates and the cost-of-living crisis – which, taken together, are likely to make the back half of the year more challenging.”

It comes as Auction House reported its best-ever half year results in terms of lots sold and money raised.

In the first six months of 2022, the group sold 1,975 lots from 2,338 offered - a success rate of 84.5% - and raised more than £316m in the process. 

This marks a 12% increase in sales since the company’s previous best figures in 2019, when 1,752 lots were sold from 2,277 offered.

It also represents a 13% increase in money raised on behalf of its clients, compared with its previous best total in 2021, when the figure stood at just over £278m.

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    .....and on what data does ZOOPLA come to their conclusions?

    I dont tell them when a property has exchanged. Are they saying its when an agent switches a notation from 'for sale' to '(something else)'? if so, that is no way to prepare a press release and certainly not one based on ''facts''.


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