The UK property market is showing no signs of the usual pre-Christmas slow down that we're all used to. In fact, fuelled by the holy trinity of pent-up demand, desire for more space and the stamp duty holiday, the market is speeding up.
New research and analysis from Zoopla has revealed the 20 fastest-moving property markets currently in the UK.
Markets in the East and West Midlands dominate the list, occupying eight out of the top 20 places. Towns within a 40-minute drive to Birmingham all feature highly in the list. Redditch in the West Midlands, an established commuter town close to Birmingham, ranks in seventh place, with properties on the market for an average of 27 days before being sold subject to contract. This was closely followed by Bromsgrove and Walsall (28 days).
The larger urban area of Stoke-on-Trent, known as the home of the pottery industry, ranked tenth in the list. Properties in this local authority also take an average of 28 days from being listed to being sold subject to contract. In Nottinghamshire, the village of Gedling ranks in 16th place, with properties here being on the market for 31 days, while it’s the same story in the larger market town of Mansfield.
Slower pace in the South West and South East
Overall, properties in the South are taking a longer time to sell, with only three local authorities making the top 20. Waltham Forest in London is by far the exception, ranking in second place with properties taking just 24 days from being listed to be sold subject to contract. In line with London house prices, the fastest moving price band here is £400,000-£450,000, noticeably higher than the other local authorities in the list.
Located in the East of London and perhaps best known as one of the host boroughs for the 2012 London Olympics, Waltham Forest has grown in popularity in recent years, particularly amongst Londoners looking to get on the property ladder in a location with great transport links and without breaking the bank.
Outside of the capital, Bristol and Dartford are the only two locations in the South West and South East to make the list. Consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in the UK, Bristol ranks in 12th place with properties taking an average of 29 days to sell. A two-bed terraced house is the fastest moving property type, while when it comes to price band, the speediest is £150,000-£200,000.
Meanwhile, Dartford in Kent, long a favourite with London commuters, comes in joint 13th place (30 days) with a three-bed terraced house being the fastest moving property type. Perhaps reflecting its proximity and excellent transport links to London, the fastest moving price band here is higher, coming in at a £250,000-£300,000
The overall picture
Overall, the fastest moving property type is a three-bed, semi-detached house, which takes the top spot in 12 out of the top 20 local authorities. The £100,000-£150,000 price band also leads the way, being the fastest moving in 11 local authorities, while £150,000-£200,000 comes in second place and is the speediest price band in a quarter of the top 20.
Tom Parker, Consumer Spokesperson at Zoopla comments: “With a potential saving of up to £15,000, the rush from buyers to benefit from the stamp duty holiday is very much on. Of course, there is still a significant amount of work to be done once a property is under offer, but properties being snapped up quickly by eager buyers is the first hurdle to leap if you want to make that saving.
“We’d urge buyers to act quickly and decisively in their hunt for a perfect property. Any delay can not only mean you miss out on your dream home but could hit you in the pocket too.”