Home Buying 500 Days Of Waiting: Are Long Homebuying Timelines Setting Up A Summer...

500 Days Of Waiting: Are Long Homebuying Timelines Setting Up A Summer Of Disappointment?


In the past year, UK house prices have risen by 10.9%, the highest rate of growth of seven years.

Nationwide has revealed the crazy rate of growth, saying that £23,930 has been added to the average house price, now standing at £242,832. 

It comes as more and more buyers are entering a packed market, many of whom are desperate to find larger homes with generous gardens. Finding a home with outdoor space is at the forefront of buyers’ minds due to so many of us being cooped up in our homes for the best part of a year, but also because after a long, drawn-out winter, summer is finally starting to shine through.

But buyers who are looking to find a new home in time to make the most of the UK summer are heading for disappointment. In some regions of the UK, it’s not taking more than 500 days to complete a purchase. This is more than 13 months longer than those places where homes are selling the fastest, including Selby and Cotswold.

Speaking about the current ‘race for space’, Robert Gardner, Chief Economist at Nationwide,  said:

“The market has seen a complete turnaround over the past twelve months..

“A year ago, activity collapsed in the wake of the first lockdown with housing transactions falling to a record low of 42,000 in April 2020.

“But activity surged towards the end of last year and into 2021, reaching a record high of 183,000 in March,” 

As for whether the impending stamp duty holiday is responsible for this surge, Gardner isn’t convinced. 

“It is shifting housing preferences which is continuing to drive activity,” he said, “with people reassessing their needs in the wake of the pandemic.”

The tax break is due to end on June 30th, after which the scheme will gradually be phased out until ending completely in September. This is, of course, open to change should the UK’s COVID situation change dramatically between now and then.

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