Wallasey saw the biggest increase in asking prices of any place in the UK in the year to April, in a top ten list dominated by towns in the North West.
Average asking prices for homes in the town in Merseyside rose by 15.6 per cent annually, or nearly £24,000, reaching £176,707, and one in three properties sold within a week, according to research by property portal Rightmove.
Following up closely was Leigh in Greater Manchester, where asking prices soared by nearly 13 per cent, or over £18,000, to £160,345.
In demand: One in three properties in Wallasey sold in just a week, according to Rightmove
Penzance in Cornwall, came third as prices shot up by over £30,000, or 12.5 per cent, to £280,102 – with the Cornish town overtaking London as the most-searched place on Rightmove.
Seven out of the top ten highest risers were all locations in the North West, with the only exceptions being Penzance, Wednesbury in the West Midlands and Burntwood in Staffordshire.
The prices in all of the top ten hotspots were below the national average, which in the year to April rose by 5.1 per cent to a new record high of £327,797.
This suggests that prices in these towns could be set to rise further, according to Rightmove.
‘The average asking prices of all locations in the price hotspot list are below the national average, and I’d expect them to see strong price growth continue for the rest of the year, especially as many buyers will be exempt from stamp duty in these areas right up until the end of September,’ said Rightmove property expert, Tim Bannister.
Rounding off the list, average prices in Lancaster and Rossendale in Lancashire; Sandbach in Cheshire; Oldham in Greater Manchester and Burntwood in Staffordshire all rose more than 11 per cent.
Top 10 hotspots: Seven out of the top ten highest risers are all locations in the North West
The dream: Asking prices in Penzance, Cornwall, shot up by over £30,000 in the year to April
The analysis of Rightmove’s website data also showed a very active market across the country, with nearly a quarter of properties selling within a week – the highest proportion recorded by the property portal.
This seemed to be confirmed by a separate survey, also by Rightmove, which found that many estate agents were prioritising property viewings for those buyers who were ready to proceed.
Nearly half of estate agents said they were asking home hunters to have already secured a buyer for their existing home if they wanted to view a property.
And a third said they were asking that potential buyers had at least put their own home on the market.
For first-time buyers, many agents were requiring that they had a mortgage in principle before they could view a property, Rightmove said.
Average asking prices in Birkenhead, Merseyside, rose more than 12% to £145,437
The portal warned that those home owners who wanted to try to find somewhere to move to before putting their home on the market would find it much harder to book viewings in the current busy market.
Bannister added: ‘The frenetic market opens up a very real possibility that you could miss out on the home you really want to move to if you haven’t already put your own up for sale, or if you’re a first-time buyer and you haven’t first researched what you can definitely afford.
‘We recently found that a much higher proportion of chain-free homes are up for sale, so it’s clear some buyers are already choosing to sell first and buy next rather than tie themselves into a chain.’
It comes as average house prices surged by nearly £16,000 over the year to April to hit a new record high, according to the latest index by Nationwide.
Britain’s biggest building society also predicted that house price inflation would hit double digits by June as a property boom gripped the market, driven by people seeking to move home in lockdown and take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.
Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics said that annual house price growth of at least 10 per cent by June ‘looks likely, given the continued strength of demand indicators’.
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