Fastest housing markets across the regions

The average time to sell a house is much discussed at the moment by agents as Brexit and Stamp Duty both sap buyer and seller confidence. The typical time to sell a house is of critical importance to the property industry. The faster agents can turn around properties, the happier their clients will be and the more successful the business.

It’s especially important in today’s lower-volume market, where there is greater competition between agents and lower average per-branch stock.

Scotland is currently the pick of the UK for homes selling fastest and achieving their asking prices, according to Zoopla’s UK housing market data. This reflects better affordability north of the border, owning remains considerably cheaper than renting.

In West Lothian the average time to sell a house is just 3.7 weeks. This compares dramatically to Kensington & Chelsea, where agents have to wait 24 weeks to find a buyer for each property, on average.

In England and Wales, the fastest cities are Stoke-on-Trent at six weeks, followed by Gloucester and Coventry, both at six weeks and four days, Newport in Wales (seven weeks), Salford in Manchester and Plymouth (seven weeks and two days) and Wolverhampton and Kingston upon Hull (seven weeks and three days).

The towns with the fastest property markets are, in descending order, Mansfield (six weeks), Ashfield (six weeks and six days), Chesterfield (seven weeks), Nuneaton (seven weeks and one day), and Walsall (seven weeks and two days).

But as well as the best efforts of local agents to sell their stock, do these areas all share any other common features that might explain their success?

  Price achieved

All the cities, towns and areas listed here feature average price achieved levels of between 98% and 107% against a national average of  96%, suggesting strong local demand is helping both find buyers faster and achieve the best average sale price.

  Strong buy-to-let

Most but not all of the fast-moving housing markets feature high gross yields for landlords – often more than 6%. This makes these areas attractive to landlords seeking to expand their portfolios, adding to local demand for properties.


The Zoopla data also reveals that affordability plays a huge role in speed. These areas are often much cheaper to own a home at present than to rent. Take Salford, for example, where renting is twice as expensive as the average repayment to service a mortgage.


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Top 5 fastest moving markets by region and speed

The North
Mansfield 6 weeks
Ashfield 6 weeks, 6 days
Chesterfield 7 weeks, 1 day
Salford 7 weeks, 2 days
Hull 7 weeks, 3 days
Coventry 6 weeks, 6 days
Staffordshire Moorlands 7 weeks, 1 day
Wolverhampton 7 weeks, 3 days
Walsall 7 weeks, 3 days
Rugby 7 weeks, 5 days
Newport 7 weeks
Cardiff 7 weeks, 6 days
Caerphilly 8 weeks, 1 day
Swansea 8 weeks, 2 days
Neath Port Talbot 8 weeks, 2 days
South West
Plymouth 7 weeks, 2 days
Exeter 8 weeks, 1 days
Swindon 8 weeks, 2 days
Great Yarmouth 8 weeks, 5 days
Poole 8 weeks, 6 days
South East
Hastings 7 weeks, 2 days
Eastbourne 8 weeks, 5 days
New Forest 10 weeks, 1 day
Bracknell Forest 10 weeks, 1 day
Crawley 10 weeks, 1 day
Greater London
Waltham Forest 9 weeks
Bexley 9 weeks, 5 days
Barking & Dagenham 10 weeks, 5 days
Sutton 10 weeks, 5 days
Enfield 11 weeks, 1 days


Author: Nigel Lewis, property journalist