Home Property Divorce driving 82% increase in quick sale stock reaching the market

Divorce driving 82% increase in quick sale stock reaching the market

by Seamus Doherty Property Reporter
24th Jan 24 12:36 pm

The latest research by quick sale specialists, Open Property Group, has shown that the number of sellers looking for a quick sale has increased by 82% year on year.

Open Property Group analysed current market stock data, looking at the volume of homes listed as needing a quick sale, the discount available to buyers who can move fast and how this has changed over the last year.

82% increase in the number of sellers looking to move fast

The research shows that there are some 3,543 homes currently listed for sale across England specifically specifying the need to sell quickly – 82% more versus this time last year.

While the North West is home to 18% of this total, it’s Yorkshire and the Humber that has seen the largest increase, with a 98% jump in the number of sellers looking to sell fast. The South East (+95%) and West Midlands (+93%) have also seen the number of sellers in a rush to sell almost double on an annual basis.

Divorce driving the need to sell quickly

While there are a range of factors that can result in a seller wanting to sell quickly, one particularly prevalent cause at this time of year is divorce, as separated couples look to part ways as quickly and cleanly as possible.

Further analysis of Gov data by Open Property Group shows that, over the last decade, an average of 29,420 divorce cases were started during the first three months of the year – 3.1% more versus the quarterly average seen over the rest of the year.

In fact, since 2014, a total of 294,198 divorce cases were started during the first quarter of the year, accounting for over a quarter (26%) of the 1.1m total divorce cases started in the last 10 years.

What’s more, the total annual number of divorce cases has increased by an average of just 0.3% each year since 2014, however, the number of cases started during the first quarter of the year has increased by an average of 1% each year during the same time period.

Quick sale savings

While an increase in divorce cases at the start of the year may be an unfortunate influence driving demand for a quick sale, it does present homebuyers with the opportunity of a house price discount.

The figures from Open Property Group show that the average price of a home in need of a quick sale comes in -10.6% below wider market values – a saving of almost £30,000.

The South West is home to the largest quick sale discount at 12.9%, closely followed by the North West (-12.9%) and London (-11.8%).

CEO of Open Property Group, Jason Harris-Cohen, said, “We’ve seen a huge surge in the number of homes entering the market with the specific requirement of a quick sale and this is an increase that is being seen at a national scale.

While there are numerous reasons that a seller may need to sell their home quickly, one unfortunate trend that we see at this time of year, in particular, is an increase in cases driven by divorce.

It’s a difficult situation to find yourself in and most couples going through a separation simply want to get their home sold and move on with their lives.

As a result, they are more willing to adjust their asking price expectations and accept a lower offer if it means a swift sale, rather than having the process drag on for months on end for the sake of a few thousand more pounds.”

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