"It might come as a surprise to hear that, during our nation’s much-reported housing shortage, perfectly good homes can sit on the market for more than a decade without finding a buyer, but there are any number of reasons why this might be"
New research by Moverly tracked property stock on Rightmove to find the homes that have been listed for the longest time across each area of the British housing market. While the housing market has certainly been cooling in the past few months, it follows a sustained period of remarkable boom that started during the pandemic and saw prices and demand hit historic highs.
However, while most sellers enjoyed quick sales and secured handsome prices during the boom, not everyone was so lucky.
We should, therefore, all spare a thought for the unlucky sellers who have found shifting their property nigh on impossible and have, in some cases, been waiting for a buyer since 2009!
The longest active listing in Britain (& London) has been on the market for 5,139 days. It is a 2-bed ground floor maisonette in East London with a current asking price of £349,995. It was first put up for sale on 16th February 2009.
Things are just as bad for the unlucky seller of this 1-bed retirement flat in Havant, Hampshire. It’s been on the market since 4th July 2009 (5,001 days) and has a current asking price of £140,000, making it the least wanted home in the South East.
The North East’s least loved property is a 2-bed terrace in Peterlee, Durham. Despite an accessible asking price of just £64,950, it has been sitting on the market for 4,627 days having been originally listed on 13th July 2010.
The oldest listing in the North West is this 1-bed flat in Bury which has been on the market for 4,328 days; while Scotland’s most unwanted home is this 2-bed flat in Galashiels, on the market for 3,238 days.
The most unwanted homes in Wales and the East Midlands have both been on the market since 2016, while the oldest listings in the West Midlands, East of England, and Yorkshire & Humber have been on the market since 2017.
Finally, the least loved home in the South West is this 1-bed flat in Bristol which has been waiting for a buyer for 1,659 days.
Ed Molyneux, Moverly co-founder commented: “It’s been long understood and just as long maligned that Britain’s homebuying process is utterly archaic and, therefore, takes far too long to complete, leaving both sellers and buyers frustrated and leading to all manner of unwanted occurrences such as broken chains and fall-throughs.
"But in order to even start this old-fashioned transaction process, you’ve actually got to find a buyer which is something that the owners of these unwanted homes are no doubt desperate to do by now.
"It might come as a surprise to hear that, during our nation’s much-reported housing shortage, perfectly good homes can sit on the market for more than a decade without finding a buyer, but there are any number of reasons why this might be.
"The asking prices might be too high; the property itself might be too unique or quirky, requiring an acquired taste; or perhaps they're in a state of such disrepair that nobody is willing to touch them.
"It’s also possible that the homes have simply not been marketed in a manner that attracts the buyers that the property itself deserves.
"Anyone who wants to avoid becoming one of the unluckiest sellers in the nation needs to make sure that their home is being marketed in the right way, at the right price, and with the right information ready for potential buyers. Because, while you’re unlikely to be sat on the market for fourteen years, a year or even two can easily come and go if your home is not being sold in the right way.”