Willenhall fastest moving market as upper end Inner London takes slow lane

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  • Over half of all newly listed properties for sale since the market reopened have already found a buyer in the Midlands market town of Willenhall, making it the fastest moving market in England
  • The study reveals the slower markets are in Inner London and a few southern commuter towns including South Kensington, Paddington, Sunbury-on-Thames and Notting Hill
  • Buyers are back as Rightmove recorded the highest number of sales being agreed in one day since back in February 2016, on Tuesday 30th June
  • Release of pent-up demand has also helped properties listed for longer sell: 63% of all properties marked sale agreed since 13th May were listed for sale before the market reopened

Willenhall, a good value market town in the West Midlands, has been named the fastest moving market since restrictions on moving home were eased in England, according to new data out today from the UK’s biggest property website Rightmove.


Over half (55%) of all newly listed properties put up for sale in Willenhall since the market reopened have already found a buyer, no doubt attracted by an average asking price of £171,506 which compares favourably with the £337,884 average in England.


The findings continue to display a particularly strong market in the North of England with five of the top ten fastest markets all in the North West and North East.


In London there are a number of micro markets, with Walthamstow and Brockley both making it into the top ten fastest markets list, while eight in ten of the slowest markets are also all in London. The majority of those in London all have average asking prices higher than the London average of £628,284, and have sold between just 5% and 11% of new listings. South Kensington is the slowest market, with 4% of new listings selling so far, followed by Paddington with 5%.


The release of pent-up demand has led to record-breaking demand for property. Restrictions starting to ease in Wales and the reopening of the market in Scotland has boosted activity further, with the highest number of sales agreed for all of Great Britain being recorded on Tuesday 30th June, to a level not seen since February 2016, before the Brexit vote. Sales agreed in England are now up 17% compared to the same time last year. Demand as evidence by people phoning and emailing estate agents is now up 75% on last year.


Rightmove’s Commercial Director and Housing Market Analyst Miles Shipside comments: “Space, gardens, new lifestyles and escaping big cities, that pretty much sums up what we’ve been seeing from buyer demand since the market reopened in England. I can’t see there being a mass exodus from the capital but it does look set to be much more challenging for sellers of more expensive properties in zone 1 and parts of zone 2 who are looking to sell quickly, as people instead look further out to the end of the tube line to places like Walthamstow. The bounce back has been quite remarkable in many parts of the country, and agents in areas where new instructions are selling like hot cakes will likely have been struggling to cope with the demand, especially with safe viewing procedures also in place.


“It’s encouraging that properties that came to market before the lockdown started are also selling, in some cases ones that have been up for sale for over six months, giving those people who struggled to sell for whatever reason at the start of the year the chance to now move on to the next step in their journey. Buyers bouncing back in big numbers means lenders are struggling to keep pace with demand. Families with equity already built up are in a much better position than a number of first-time buyers who are trying to find a mortgage deal they can afford, which is even more difficult if they’re looking to buy in one of the more expensive areas.”


The sales agreed study includes areas where at least 100 new listings were added to Rightmove between 13th May and 1st July, and is based on 170,000 new listings across England.


Agents’ views


Gary Williams, Partner at Skitts Estate Agents in Willenhall, says: “We’ve had sales going through quickly for all parts of the market over the past few weeks from first-time buyers to bigger family homes, with three and four bed homes most in demand. It helps that it’s an affordable area so people are choosing it as a location where they can buy a bigger place but still be able to commute into Birmingham in under half an hour if they need to. There’s definitely a sense from some people that they’ve been thinking about moving for a long while and being in lockdown has given them the motivation to actually make the move now.”


James Bostock, Valuer at Central Estates, said: “Walthamstow has always been a popular location for young professionals and families alike but since our re-opening back in May the property market is stronger than ever, it feels comparable to a mini boom. The past two months have been our busiest and most successful of the last year. There is definitely a strong desire from both buyers and sellers to get moving.”


Damian Morris-Adams, Managing Director of Adams with branches in Runcorn and Widnes, says: “Our branches have seen exceptional activity levels since the housing market reopened. In June we agreed 61% more sales than during the same period in 2019. All of our metrics are up compared to 2019 and so it feels as though we’ve quickly returned to the ‘Boris Bounce’ we were experiencing prior to the lockdown.”

Fastest moving markets


Area % of newly listed properties that have found a buyer Average asking prices

June 2020

Willenhall, West Midlands 55% £171,506
Runcorn, Cheshire 54% £139,140
Walthamstow, East London 49% £492,755
Wallsend, Tyne and Wear 46% £135,723
Wallasey, Merseyside 46% £158,987
Widnes, Cheshire 45% £170,298
Sutton-In-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire 44% £152,818
Brockley, South East London 44% £557,337
Oldham, Greater Manchester 43% £160,083
Weymouth, Dorset 43% £264,840


Slowest moving markets


Area % of newly listed properties that have found a buyer Average asking prices

June 2020

South Kensington, London 4% £2,017,873
Paddington, London 5% £1,204,045
Sunbury-On-Thames, Surrey 6% £498,088
Notting Hill, London 6% £1,196,460
Canary Wharf, London 9% £626,611
Camden, London 9% £1,169,052
Shoreditch, London 9% £608,645
Hampstead, London 9% £1,506,313
Windsor, Berkshire 10% £569,027
Highgate, London 11% £1,222,306


UK Property news updates shared directly from Rightmove PLC - the country's leading property portal.

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