These are the country’s top property hotspots right now

  • Runcorn is the place where house sales have sped up the most compared to this time last year, with the average home selling in 48 days, almost a month faster than the national average
  • Agents report that the opening of the Mersey Gateway Bridge coupled with a lack of stock has led to the drop in how long it takes to secure a sale, and all top five areas are in the North West
  • The average time to sell a property across Great Britain is 77 days, up from 72 days in 2018
  • Towns in the West and East Midlands dominate the top ten quickest-to-sell locations, with Redditch taking the top spot

Runcorn in Cheshire is home to the country’s fastest-moving property market outside of London compared with a year ago, exclusive data from Rightmove can reveal.

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 Rightmove until it is marked as under offer or sold subject to contract by an agent.

Towns in the North West are where sellers have seen the biggest improvements from last year, with Burnley, Morecambe, Widnes, Lancaster and Oldham all cutting their selling time by at least 14 days.

Runcorn, where the average asking price is £132,653, reduced its selling time by three weeks from 69 in 2018 to just 48 days currently – which is 29 days quicker than the national average. Experts in the area suggest this could have been driven by the opening of the Mersey Gateway bridge.

The Mersey Gateway bridge has helped reduce travel times in Runcorn

It also means Runcorn makes it into ninth spot in the list of fastest-selling towns in England.

Fastest selling places

In Scotland, Livingston is where homes are selling quickest. On average, it takes just 35 days for properties to get snapped up in the West Lothian town.

It’s Redditch in the West Midlands which takes top spot as the fastest-selling market in England, with properties in the Worcestershire 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.

Leamington Spa also finished in the top ten fastest-selling locations, 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.

In Wales, Newport is the fastest-moving housing market, with homes being sold in 47 days there.

 Rightmove’s property expert Miles Shipside said: “This analysis reflects what agents have recently been telling us, and what we saw in Rightmove’s House Price Index – that more northerly regions are faring better in terms of pricing power and willingness to move than those farther south. Agents report that properties in the North West are seeing positive market conditions with strong demand from buyers. Once again improvements in local-level infrastructure is a key factor, with the top areas benefiting from better transport links to bigger city centre employment hubs.”

Fast-selling markets seemingly benefit from better transport links

Agents’ Views

Alex Nam, junior partner and valuer at family-run Bests Estate Agents in Runcorn, said: “The Rightmove data definitely tallies with what we’ve been experiencing over the last 12 to 18 months. There has been a shortage of stock and the speed of sales has been among some of the quickest I’ve seen. The Mersey Gateway bridge has opened during that period, so I imagine that has had an impact, for sure.  You can get from Runcorn to Liverpool city centre in 20 minutes by car now, which means the area will be 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.”

Samantha Cerrone, office manager of Vizors in Redditch, added: “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.”

Locations where sales have sped up the most compared to January 2018:

Town/City Region Time to sell Jan 2019 (days) Time to sell difference since 2018 (days) Time to sell Jan 2018 (days) Average asking price Jan 2019
Runcorn North West 48 -21 69 £132,653
Burnley North West 74 -18 92 £109,709
Morecambe North West 101 -16 117 £142,097
Widnes North West 59 -15 74 £158,034
Lancaster North West 77 -15 92 £175,614
Oldham North West 66 -14 80 £148,484
Wakefield Yorkshire and The Humber 68 -14 82 £197,958
Thornton-Cleveleys North West 70 -13 83 £152,894
Lytham St. Annes North West 91 -13 104 £230,606
Dewsbury Yorkshire and The Humber 71 -12 83 £150,101

Fastest selling locations:

Town/City Region


Time to sell Jan 2019 (days) Time to sell difference since 2018 (days) Time to sell Jan 2018 (days) Average asking price Jan 2019
Redditch West Midlands 45 -3 48 £212,400
Gloucester South West 46 +3 43 £238,723
Wellingborough East Midlands 47 +5 42 £205,320
Kettering East Midlands 47 +4 43 £215,142
Coalville East Midlands 47 -5 52 £188,015
Leamington Spa West Midlands 47 -6 53 £342,329
Sale North West 47 -3 50 £301,549
Coventry West Midlands 47 +7 40 £213,297
Newport Wales 47 -9 56 £199,042
Runcorn North West 48 -21 69 £132,653

National statistics for January 2019:

Region Time to sell Jan 2019 (days)
East Midlands 71
East of England 77
London 89
North East 95
North West 79
Scotland 66
South West 76
United Kingdom 77
Wales 78
West Midlands 65
Yorkshire and The Humber 76

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