‘A market not seen before’: England’s fastest and slowest property completion areas


With the property market continuing to boom, many prospective buyers may be wondering how long it will take them to secure their dream home. From three months to almost a year, each area of the country could offer buyers either a speedy transaction or a slow Research from property data platform MoveSmart, created by national home buying service Spring, exclusively shared with Express.co.uk has shared the fastest and slowest property completion areas in England.

According to the research, Ayot St Lawrence in Hertfordshire, Barming in Kent and Anlaby in Kingston upon Hull are among the slowest areas in England for homes to sell.

From the date of listing, the average home in the town of Ayot St Lawrence took 46 weeks before the transaction was completed which is almost one year.

Meanwhile in Barming and Anlaby, the average time was 40 weeks.

However, some urban hotspots are also experiencing longer property completion rates due to lack of demand.

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For prospective buyers, the speed of transactions in some areas is a stark reminder that having an offer accepted on a home does not necessarily mean the sale is complete or proceedable.

Cormac Henderson, CEO of Spring said the coronavirus pandemic has created market conditions that have never been seen before.

He explained: “While historically you might expect to see a clear north-south divide, the pandemic has created a market not seen before that breaks the mould.

“Of course demand is not the only factor at play, with availability and quality of local conveyancers playing a big part in overall completion time.

“Historically, city homes have been the fastest to complete but with less people wanting to live in dense urban areas due to new lifestyle choices and flexible working, it is little surprise to see the built up areas of Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton moving particularly slowly – with supply far outstripping demand.

“It is interesting to see that two regional towns in Shropshire, close to the border of Wales, have made the fastest list and that may be due to impact of people moving out of larger cities to get more for their money nearer to nature post-pandemic, creating hotter markets in more rural areas.”

Top 10 areas with slowest selling properties from listing to completion in England:

Ayot St Lawrence, Hertfordshire

Barming, Kent

Anlaby, East Riding of Yorkshire


North Shields, Tyne & Wear

Askam-in-Furness, Cumbria

Bootle, Merseyside

Southampton, Hampshire

Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

Top 10 areas with fastest selling properties from listing to completion in England:

Bar Hill, Cambridgeshire

Bayston Hill, Shropshire

Dunsdale, North Yorkshire

Barton-on-Sea, Hampshire

Bottesford, Leicestershire

Chadwell Heath, London

Acton Turville, South Gloucestershire

Blythe Bridge, Staffordshire

Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Askett, Buckinghamshire

Prospective buyers can use the search tool MoveSmart to compare up to three locations at once in the UK to see how quickly properties sell.

The tool also shared the breakdown of comparable properties on the market and sold within the area.

Mr Henderson described the tool as a “game changer” for the property market.


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