London is currently the most challenging market for agents, says Homesearch

London is currently home to the most challenging housing market conditions for estate agents, owed in large part to the shortage of new homes coming onto the market in the capital, new research from Homesearch shows.

According to the property data and agent prospecting platform, seven of the nation’s top 10 slowest postcodes to sell, with the west central London postcode identified as the least lucrative for estate agents.

Homesearch analysed its property data over the last 12 months to find out which postcode areas move the fastest and slowest, where prices have risen the most and which are the most and least lucrative for estate agents.

It found that properties in west central London, which includes areas such as High Holborn and Covent Garden, take 100 days on average to sell subject to contract from the date they went on the market.

The second slowest postcode to sell is west London, which includes areas such as Ealing and Hammersmith, where it takes properties 86 days to shift on average.

This contrasts with Nottingham where estate agents can confirm a sale subject to contract within just 41 days on average, closely followed by Sheffield (42 days) and Wakefield (43).

The following outlines the Top 10 fastest and slowest postcodes to sell:

Fastest                                                                 Slowest

  1. Nottingham – 41 days
  1. London (WC) – 100 days
  1. Sheffield – 42 days
  1. London (W) – 86 days
  1. Wakefield – 43 days
  1. London (SW – 81 days
  1. Walsall – 43 days
  1. London (EC) – 81 days
  1. Bristol – 44 days
  1. London (NW) – 76 days
  1. Leeds – 45 days
  1. London (N) – 73 days
  1. Hull – 45 days
  1. Slough – 71 days
  1. Warrington – 45 days
  1. London (TW) – 69 days
  1. Manchester – 45 days
  1. Kingston – 69 days
  1. Derby – 45 days
  1. Ilford – 67 days

A key part of the study was to identify which postcodes are the most and least lucrative to estate agents. Despite being the third slowest postcode area to sell in the UK, the London SW (South Western) postcode is the biggest selling, with over £8.9bn of property sales generated in areas such as Chelsea and Putney, in the last 12 months. This was followed by Guildford with £5.3bn of properties sold. Kingston upon Thames came in third with £5.2bn of sales recorded.

The least lucrative postcode for agents can be found in West Central London (WC postcode) which is the slowest area to sell and recorded £125m of residential property sold in the last 12 months, followed by Llandrindod Wells (£140m) in Wales and East Central London (£229m) which includes areas such as Camden and Finsbury.

The largest increase and decrease in average house prices is largely felt in London, with the London NW postcode – which includes areas such as Cricklewood and Brent Cross – seeing the highest year-on-year increase of 10.3% (£93,205). Conversely, the west central London (WC postcode) postcode, saw a 18% (£241,828) drop in values year on year. The biggest fall in average property prices outside of London has been felt in Durham which has only experienced a 2.5% (£3,961) increase.

Sam Hunter, co-founder and chief operating officer at Homesearch, commented: “It’s a difficult market out there for estate agents, with a shortage of housing stock for sale making winning new instructions extremely competitive. We therefore wanted to analyse our data to see which postcodes and other key factors are presenting both the toughest challenges to agents and the best market opportunities to thrive.

“It is very clear from our findings that London is a real postcode lottery for agents with some locations experiencing sharp increases in average house prices and other areas taking some of the longest periods of time to sell.”

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