Since the housing market reopened in England on Wednesday 13th May the release of pent-up demand has led to record levels of buyers enquiring about their next home.
New analysis from Rightmove, based on circa 95% of all properties for sale from estate agents, has found some of the strongest markets are currently in the north.
The demand study is based on the number of people phoning and emailing estate agents about properties for sale over the past two weeks, compared to the first two weeks in March.
The average for England is an increase of 32%.
The top ten includes three places in Greater Manchester – Wigan, Rochdale and Bolton – perhaps as prospective buyers look to make their budget go further.
Nine out of the top ten have average asking prices lower than the current average for England of £337,884.
The only exception is the affluent town of Wilmslow where average asking prices are £461,535.
Topping the list of best performers is historical Hereford in the West Midlands, and seaside town of Hastings makes it in as the only Southern area.
There is only one city – Newcastle – that tops the list for the best performing place within its region in England, which again is one of the more affordable cities in the country.
A separate study by Rightmove of the prices of over 7,000 newly agreed sales, provided to the portal by some of the country’s largest property groups, shows that agents selling typical ‘second stepper’ homes, those which have three or four bedrooms homes excluding four bedroom detached properties, are achieving closest to the last advertised asking price on Rightmove when agreeing a sale.
The findings are similar to our analysis from earlier this month that found bigger, more spacious, homes have made it into the top five most sought-after property types, replacing flats.
Rightmove’s property expert Miles Shipside said:
“The fact that towns are bouncing back better than cities is indicative of many prospective buyers choosing smaller areas to live, but still looking for places that will have all the facilities they need on their doorstep.
“Many of the towns in the list have cheaper prices so a buyer’s budget goes further allowing extra space for possible home-working and gardens for private relaxation.
“Our new analysis of the prices that buyers are agreeing to pay shows that properties in the typical family home or second stepper sector are achieving closest to their asking prices.
“If you exclude London and some more expensive areas in the south then these types of home are typically in the £250,000 to £500,000 price band.
“These are currently appealing because they’re likely to benefit from more space and a private garden, attributes that home-movers tell us are now even more important than before lockdown.
“There are still 175,000 sellers missing that would usually have come to market when it was closed, so sales agreed numbers will take a while to recover to normal levels, and much hinges on the deals that lenders are able to offer buyers in the current market.”