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Hamptons: Homes are taking longer to sell but prices are improving

Last month marked the slowest February to sell a home since 2013 but prices are improving, new analysis claims.

Insight from agency brand Hamptons shows the average home sold in Great Britain in February had been on the market for 64 days.

This is the slowest rate for a decade but Hamptons said achieved prices are improving.


Last month, the average seller in England & Wales sold their property for 98.9% of their asking price, the same level as February 2019, according to the research.

This marked the fourth consecutive monthly improvement following a dip in October when rates rocketed post-mini Budget.  

However, average asking to achieved figures remain below their February record of 101.0% this time last year.

More realistic pricing means that the shift has come from a rise in the share of buyers paying the asking price, Hamptons said.

A quarter of homes sold last month achieved their asking price, the same share as February 2022, and up from a low of 21% in December 2022.  

Meanwhile fewer homes are selling for more than or less than their asking price.

In February, the average seller who sold a £500k-plus home achieved 97.9% of the asking price, up from 97.6% in January.  

Whereas homes sold for less than £500k achieved 99.1%, the same as the previous month.  

The share of homes sold following a price reduction has risen from 31% in February 2022 to 49% in February 2023, the research found.

However, this figure is running near a ‘normal’ pre-Covid rate given that 47% of homes sold in February 2019 had been reduced, Hamptons claims.

Price reductions fell in five out of Great Britain’s 11 regions over the last month.  Wales recorded the biggest fall, where 37% of homes were sold following a price reduction in February, down from 47% in January 2023.  

Meanwhile the three Southern regions outside of London all saw a rise in price reductions.  


On average, time to sell has fallen by around 40% between January and February in previous years.  However, this year, time to sell only fell 17% or by 13 days over the same period.  

This is a product of the market’s slowdown towards the end of last year, with more of those homes remaining on the market for longer, Hamptons said.

However, one-bed homes have bucked the trend.  Generally, the larger the home the longer it’s taken to sell.  

Hamptons suggested this is partly a reflection of top-end sellers’ willingness to wait the market out given they don’t need to sell.  

However, at an average of 64 days, it’s two days quicker to sell a one-bed home than it was in February 2022.

Hamptons said it expects average time to sell numbers to continue falling in the months to come as “post mini-Budget” effects drop out of the picture.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, said: “With the spring sales season fast approaching, the market appears to have stabilised.  

“Whilst there were further small signs of improvement in most housing market metrics between January and February, the rate of improvement has slowed.

“The cash-rich top of the market seems to be holding up best.  However, it’s here that sellers continue to hold out for the right price, which means that these larger homes are still taking much longer to sell than usual.  Overall, while transactions remain slim on the ground, prices remain sticky.”


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