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Zoopla reveals the fastest moving property markets in England and Wales as the extended stamp duty holiday turbocharges the market

31st March 2021

  • Wigan is the fastest moving market in England and Wales, with properties taking an average of just 26 days from being listed to sold subject to contract

  • Commuter towns score highly as buyers search for more space, with Redditch, Salford, and Barnsley, all located in rural-urban fringes, featuring in the top 20

  • Coastal locations are also proving popular with Medway in Kent, The Isle of Wight, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend making the cut 

  • Waltham Forest is the fastest moving market in London, with an average time to sell of only 35 days 

  • Three-bed, semi-detached properties remain the fastest moving property type, while  properties in the £150,000-£200,000 price bracket are being snapped up quickest 


With the stamp duty holiday extension galvanising the property market, Zoopla, the UK’s most comprehensive property destination, has revealed the 20 fastest moving property markets* in England and Wales. 


The good news for those hoping to clinch a deal before the end of the holiday in September is that the fastest moving price band in 17 of the 20 markets is £250,000 or less. This means both buyers and sellers in these markets have a strong chance of completing their purchase before the end of the SDLT holiday deadline and can make a saving.


Commuter towns lead the way


Wigan takes the crown as the fastest moving market, with properties spending an average of just 26 days on the market before being sold subject to contract. Three bed semi-detached houses are the most popular property type, while £100,00-£150,000 is the price band that’s selling quickest. With its excellent transport links and lower property prices than nearby Manchester, it’s easy to see why Wigan is appealing to home movers.


Also within commuting distance to Manchester is Salford, which ranks in joint second place with a time to sell of 27 days. Redditch and Knowsley also have the same time to sell and are similarly located on the rural-urban fringe of Birmingham and Liverpool respectively. 


This trend continues in markets near Sheffield, with homes in Barnsley and Rotherham also featuring in the top 20. Barnsley, famous for its parkland and thriving town centre, has an average time to sell of 32 days while the most popular property type is a three bed semi-detached house. 


Meanwhile, Rotherham has a slightly slower market with properties taking an average of 33 days to go under offer and two bed semi-detached houses selling quickest. 


Despite this, the traditionally fast moving urban markets of Liverpool, Sheffield, and Manchester continue to be speedy, with the average seller achieving an offer within 34 days. This highlights that despite the race for space in the outskirts of cities, there’s still increasing competition amongst buyers in city centres due to reduced supply.


Coastal locations proving popular 


Reflecting the increased demand for properties by the sea, several coastal locations feature in the top 20. Medway in Kent is the fastest moving coastal market in England and Wales with properties taking an average of 27 days to go under offer. 


Other locations such as the Isle of Wight have seen dramatic improvements in the speed of their property market. Properties on the island are currently taking 32 days to sell, a staggering 29 days faster than the same time last year, while the most popular property type is a three bed semi detached house


Two coastal areas in Wales also feature in the top 20. Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend both have three bed semi detached houses as the most popular property type, while the time to sell is 31 and 32 days respectively. Both areas have a lot to offer home hunters, with easy access to the sea and countryside, and house prices sitting well below the UK average of £226,400.


The South East speeds up 


There’s been a dramatic improvement in markets in parts of the South East of England with the time to sell dramatically reducing.


The scenic area of Swale, which encompasses part of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has seen its time to sell almost half, reduced from 66 days to 38 days, with two bed terraced houses the most popular property type. The nearby historical city Canterbury, known for its famous cathedral, has also seen a dramatic reduction in the time to sell, with the average property now going under offer after 48 days, down 25 days from the same time last year.


In London, Waltham Forest remains London’s fastest moving market, with properties taking 35 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 other parts of the country, while the most popular property type is a two bed terraced house. 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. 


Overall, the fastest moving property type In England and Wales remains three bed, semi-detached houses, which takes the top spot in 13 out of the top 20 local authorities. The £150,000-£200,000 price bracket also leads the way, being the fastest moving in 11 local authorities. 


Gráinne Gilmore, Head of Research at Zoopla comments: “We have observed the time taken to sell a home changing in many areas during Covid-19 pandemic. While the number of days it takes between listing a property to agreeing a sale in one of the traditionally fastest-moving moving markets such as Manchester, Liverpool or Sheffield has stayed the same, sellers in some adjacent areas may now see their properties selling just as quickly. Buyers will have to move fast but the speed at which this stage of the buying process is moving also means that those looking to take advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday extension will be giving themselves the best chance of doing so.“



*This analysis looks at the average number of days between the property being listed on Zoopla to offer (marked as Sold STC), with days on the market rounded to the nearest whole number. Tables referring to the fastest moving markets are ranked on the median number of days until offer is achieved, while the market with largest improvement to time to sell is ranked on reduction in number of days from listing to offer (in days). 


Note: Scotland is excluded from this analysis as the stamp duty holiday has not been extended. 


Properties for sale in the fastest moving markets

3 bed semi-detached house for sale


Available on Zoopla for £140,000

3 bed semi-detached house for sale


Available on Zoopla for £150,000

2 bed semi-detached house for sale


Available on Zoopla for £150,000

3 bed semi-detached house for sale

Yarmouth, Isle of Wight

Available on Zoopla for £125,000

2 bed semi-detached house for sale

Swale, Kent

Available on Zoopla for £149,000

2 bed terraced house for sale

Waltham Forest, London

Available on Zoopla for £425,000

- Ends -

For further information, please contact PR Team on [email protected] or +44 (0)20 3873 8770.

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