The houses that have been on the market for years - why won't they sell?

Three lovely homes that just won’t shift

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For sale signs

If you've had your house on the market for a while, it can be a depressing experience. As the weeks turn into months, you wonder if anyone will ever want to buy your home. Meanwhile, however, there are those who have had their home up for sale for years. They include some really beautiful homes that have been on the market for five years or more. So what's going on?

See also: The most expensive house on the market - yours for just £120m

There are always going to be some problem homes - those with nightmare neighbours, structural problems, or half-finished projects that struggle to sell. We're not talking about those properties, but the ones that have an enormous amount to offer the right buyer - but have struggled to reach them.

We have tracked down three - two of which have been on the market for more than six years, which demonstrate how perfectly lovely properties can struggle to sell.


Liverpool docklands flat
Not wanting to lose money

Quebec Quay is a lovely two bedroom property in Liverpool's docklands, which has an asking price of just £179, 500, but has been on the market for more than six years - hitting the market in October 2010. It's in great condition and would make a lovely home, so it begs the question of why it hasn't sold. To get a picture of possible reasons, it's worth looking at the history of the price.

There are 183 houses and flats in Quebec Quay, and over the past five years. 40 of them have sold. In order to sell in a market like this with plenty of supply, price is key, and this could be where the property is struggling.

The property was originally listed for £187,500 in 2010, and even now is priced above the selling prices of similar properties in the area. There have been a couple sales in recent months, including a flat that sold for £159,999, and one that old for £177,800 - but was in beautiful condition. A quick check of the history of the property reveals that the buyer picked it up for £187,500 in 2004 - so their desire to sell for a similar price again is easy to understand. Unfortunately, it may be standing in their way of a sale.

Wolverhampton flat

Slow market

Another great property that has been on the market since March 2011, is a lovely, modern, first-floor, two bedroom flat in Wolverhampton. It's currently on the market for just £109,995. A major issue for the seller is the fact that Wolverhampton was recently named as one of the slowest markets in the UK. Buyers are simply not convinced that the future of the market is rosy, so are sitting tight. This flat is on the outskirts of Wolverhampton near the motorway, and while it is very handy for transport links, it may make it a harder sell when the market is so slow.

The seller has been willing to drop the price to sell - way below the price they paid for it back in 2005 (£134,950). Of the 16 flats in the development, only two have sold in the past five years, but the most recent sale was for a very similar property - also for £109,995 - so the seller can afford a small glimmer of hope that eventually their buyer will come along.

An expensive house for the area
One really stunning home on the market is Griffin Farm, a former farmhouse in St Martins, Oswestry, complete with exposed beams and wisteria climbing over the front of the property. The five bedroom detached house - complete with outbuildings - is on the market for a very reasonable £410,000, and it has been up for sale since May 2014. The price was reduced after the first year - from £425,000.

The issue for this home appears to be that property in the area is just so affordable. While it's a beautiful place to live, it's not a particularly handy commuter town, so that keeps a lid on demand. The current average price in St Martins is £186,402, and there are some great family homes for a fraction of £400,000. There are currently only two more expensive properties on the market in the town - including one with a separate annex and another on a more imposing scale - and with an acre of grounds.

This house, therefore, will need to find the right buyer who wants to invest in a stunning property in this beautiful area - and that takes time. In this case, years.

UK property hotspots 2017 (according to Zoopla)

UK property hotspots 2017 (according to Zoopla)