Sellers in Runcorn, Cheshire, are seeing the fastest-moving property market outside London compared with a year ago, according to data from Rightmove.
Nationally, the average time to sell a property has risen from 72 days in January 2018 to 77 days in the current market. Time to sell is based on a property being first listed on the property portal until it is marked as under offer or sold subject to contract by an agent.
Sellers in the North West have seen the biggest improvements from last year, with Burnley, Morecambe, Widnes, Lancaster and Oldham all shaving their selling time by at least 14 days.
Runcorn has an average asking price of £132,653 and has shortened its selling time by three weeks from 69 in 2018 to 48 days currently – 29 days quicker than the national average. Rightmove suggests this could have been driven by the opening of the Mersey Gateway bridge.
This has also bumped Runcorn up into ninth spot in the list of fastest-selling towns in England.
The fastest selling places
Livingston in Scotland recorded the quickest time to sell, with an average of just 35 days for properties to get snapped up in the West Lothian town.
Meanwhile, Redditch in the West Midlands took top spot as the fastest-selling market in England, with properties in the Worchestershire town selling in 45 days on average.
Gloucester in the South West and Wellingborough in the East Midlands are the second and third quickest-to-sell locations in England, although homes in Gloucester are taking two days longer to sell than they were this time last year.
Elsewhere, Leamington Spa – which was crowned as the happiest place to live in the country in Rightmove’s 2017 ‘Happy at Home Index’ and came fifth last year – also finished in the top 10 fastest-selling locations.
In Wales, meanwhile, Newport has the fastest-moving housing market, with homes being sold in 47 days there.
“The Rightmove data definitely tallies with what we’ve been experiencing over the last 12 to 18 months,” said Alex Nam, junior partner and valuer at Bests Estate Agents in Runcorn. “There has been a shortage of stock and the speed of sales has been among some of the quickest I’ve seen.”
He said with the Mersey Gateway bridge opening during that period, along with Runcorn’s good transport links, the town is even more attractive to investors and buyers.
“Our big traffic problems have been alleviated and it’s been a significant infrastructure change. But there is still limited choice and the area has usually generated fairly reasonable yields in the buy-to-let market, so it’s no surprise things have been speeding up recently,” he added.
Samantha Cerrone, office manager of Vizors in Redditch, commented: “We’ve got great links into Birmingham but we’re slightly cheaper than neighbouring areas outside of the city. There is easy access to good schools in Redditch as well and it’s a family town where people stay for a long, long time. We sell 90% of the stock we put on.”