Cambridge has been revealed as having the hottest property market in the UK, even beating London to become the place where houses sell faster than anywhere else in the country, a survey has shown.
According to the property website Rightmove, homes listed on its website in the university city take just 27 days to change hands – compared with 41 days across Greater London.
Estate agents said Cambridge combines the enduring need for student housing with a boom as a base for science and technology firms. The pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has pledged to make the city its global hub, after it fought off a merger bid from US giant Pfizer.
The city is also expecting a new £26 million railway station, and as a result one expert said nearly all houses go for above asking price – many within two weeks of being listed.
Next to Cambridge the two other fastest selling areas in the UK are the London boroughs of Lewisham and Sutton, taking 29 days in each case to exchange contracts.
House prices in London have jumped 20.1 per cent compared to a year ago, the Office for National Statistics revealed earlier this week, while UK house prices as a whole rose 10.5 per cent.
It means the average home in the capital now costs £492,000, compared to £262,000 across the country.
And although selling times have fallen across Britain, London has outpaced other regions with completion times falling 32 per cent year on year from 60 to 41 days.
In pictures: The hottest property in Britain
In pictures: The hottest property in Britain
The entrance to King’s College in Cambridge. The university city has been named as having the hottest property in Britain, with houses taking just 27 days to sell on average
Houses in the London borough of Lewisham take 29 days to sell
The town centre of Sutton, in London. Houses go in 29 days on average across the whole local authority
4/10 Waltham Forest
Walthamstow Town Hall in Waltham Forest, where houses are listed on average for 31 days
The view over Warwick from its castle. Homes in the county town of Warwickshire sell in 33 days, the fastest outside London and the South East
Sutton House, a grade II listed property owned by the National Trust in Hackney. Homes in the London borough sell in 34 days on average
7/10 St Albans
A three-bedroom property that was on sale in 2012 in St Albans, Hertfordshire. Homes there now sell in just 34 days
The Millennium Dome, now the O2 arena, opened in Greenwich in 2000. Homes in the London borough sell in 35 days on average
Hall Place, a former stately home in Bexley. The outer London borough has properties that sell on average in 35 days
Market Square in Bromley, London, where houses are listed on average for 35 days
The slowest area for shifting property, meanwhile, is Powys in mid-Wales, where sales take an average of 113 days.
The next two slowest-selling areas are Gwynedd in north-west Wales where it takes 112 days to complete a sale, and Sefton in Merseyside, where it takes 106 days.
While Wales and the North West were particularly well-represented on the list of slowest-selling areas, the smallest fall in sale times was actually in the North East – a drop of just two per cent from 90 to 88 days.
Rightmove director Miles Shipside said: “This new data shows just how different the pace of the housing market is at a very local level, and clearly displays that speed is key for both buyers and sellers.
“Buyers want to know that they can be the first to find new properties on the market, and sellers expect to have their property marketed as quickly as possible to find a suitable buyer.”
Cambridge estate agent Andrew Bradshaw said the market was buzzing in the East Anglian city as it prepares for its second railway station, Cambridge Science Park, in 2015.
He said: “In the current market we are finding a number of buyers for many properties within two weeks or even a week in some cases. Cambridge has always been viewed as a safe bet with the university and big businesses investing in the city, and with the upcoming additional railway station things are only likely to move even more quickly.”
Mr Bradshaw added he had a number of clients who had sold properties elsewhere, moved to the area, and were renting until a suitable house became available.
But Gwynedd-based estate agent Melfyn Williams said: “The ripple effect from London and talk of a widespread 'over-heated' market has not reached Gwynedd.
“Whilst the number of sales has improved and some property is selling in days or weeks, the average time is three to four months to secure a sale, and there are many properties that have now been for sale for over 12 months.”Reuse content