Revealed: property not-spots where houses take longest to sell

Savvy buyers are urged to swoop and buy bargain properties

Durham Cathedral
In County Durham 62pc of properties are yet to find buyers Credit: Julian Elliott Photography

While some parts of the country have been overwhelmed by buyers rushing to purchase before the stamp duty deadline, others have missed out on the property market frenzy. 

In many locations less than half of homes currently for sale are already under offer or sold subject to contract, according to research by PropCast, the data company.

By contrast in Bristol, the hottest seller’s market in the country, three-quarters of homes have already found buyers.

However low demand can benefit buyers, as they have a better hand when negotiating a price. London is currently the worst place to be selling a home, and conversely the best place to be a buyer. Two-thirds of properties for sale in the capital are yet to receive an offer. This is still an improvement on July of last year, when 73pc of properties listed at the time were yet to find buyers. 

The least in-demand postcodes among buyers are WC2, W1 and W2, which cover the areas around Chancery Lane, Soho and Paddington. 

The next worst place to be a seller is County Durham, where around 62pc of properties for sale are yet to receive an offer. In TS28, between Hartlepool and Durham, that rises to 72pc.

In Cumbria, Lancashire, Lincolnshire and Tyne and Wear less than half of properties on the market are under offer or sold subject to contract. In all other counties the opposite is true. 

The least in-demand postcodes in these places include CA23 and CA21 on the western edge of the Lake District, where three-quarters of listed homes are yet to find buyers, and LN12 and LN13 on the Lincolnshire coast. 

Alex Woodleigh-Smith of AWS Prime Property, a consultancy, advised people looking to purchase in a buyer’s market to be aggressive when bidding

“Many of our clients who are looking for property in London are investors based in other countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Hong Kong. The shared belief is property in the capital is undervalued and when conditions allow it will see a strong increase,” he added. 

Of particular interest among his clients at the moment are apartments in the prime markets of Chelsea, Knightsbridge, South Kensington and Victoria. 

“These are places that typically have a higher proportion of international buyers, so demand is lower due to the current travel restrictions. If a motivated seller can be found, there may be less competition and the chance to snatch a bargain,” Mr Woodleigh-Smith said. 

PropCast’s Gavin Brazg said: “As more and more home buyers realise they are going to miss the March 31 stamp duty deadline, fall throughs and price reductions are going to increase. Demand from buyers could also drop off if they are not able to find alternative and cheaper properties to buy.” 

However, he said demand would not peter out entirely, as the end of the current lockdown was likely to encourage more buyers and sellers to come to market.