Wallasey in Merseyside has topped a table of property hotspots after recording the biggest rise in asking prices over the past year of any town and city in Britain, according to the listings site Rightmove.
Homes coming on to the market in the Wirral town were being listed at an average of £176,707 in March, an increase of 15.6% compared with March 2020, the website said. The area is one of seven in its top 10 that are in the north-west of England.
The market has been booming since the first lockdown ended, and typically homes in cheaper parts of the country have recorded the biggest price rises.
Second on Rightmove’s list was Leigh in Greater Manchester, with a 12.8% increase, while in fourth and fifth place were another Merseyside town, Birkenhead, then Wednesbury in the West Midlands.
Despite asking prices rising by more than 12% in all three towns, the average remained below £175,000.
According to the website, the average asking price across Britain is £327,797, an annual rise of 5.1%.
In third place was Penzance in Cornwall, where asking prices rose by 12.5% to an average of £280,102.
The website said a quarter of all properties sold within a week of going on the market – the highest proportion it had ever recorded.
The frenzy of activity during stamp duty holidays across the UK, together with social distancing guidelines and restrictions on movement, seem to have made it harder for would-be buyers to arrange viewings.
A survey by the website found that almost half of estate agents were asking that a buyer has already had an offer accepted on their home if they want to physically view a property, while just over a third are asking that a buyer at least has their property on the market.
Despite that, the average number of homes sold in the first quarter of the year by each agent jumped from 17 to 36.
Tim Bannister from Rightmove said he expected the locations on the list “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”.