Home sales across Britain are flying. With more people looking to move than the number of homes available to buy, sellers have the best chance of finding a buyer now than at any other time in the past ten years.
In some towns and villages across England, the lack of homes for sale, compared to the number of sales agreed, has created home seller hotspots with queues of buyers waiting to act fast.
The Suffolk market town of Newmarket, the horse racing capital of Britain, tops the list. The number of new home sellers coming to market has dropped by 49 per cent in the past year, while the number of sales being agreed is up almost 79 per cent. As a result, asking prices are up nine per cent since 2019, to just over £320,000.
Berkhamsted, in Hertfordshire, is in second place, with a 57 per cent drop in the number of homes listed for sale, and a 59 per cent uptick in the number of properties sold. Prices are also up nine per cent in the last two years, to just over £694,000.
And in third place is Witney, Oxfordshire, where sales are up by 51 per cent, and the number of homes listed for sale is down 59 per cent. Asking prices are up five per cent, to an average of almost £348,000.
Our property expert Tim Bannister says: “If we think back to July last year the market in England had been open again for around six weeks, the Stamp Duty holiday was announced, and a summer frenzy was just beginning.
“Twelve months on, the combination of fewer sellers coming to market and sustained demand has resulted in a summer seller shortfall. For those considering coming to market this year, now could be the time to find out what your home could be worth from a local agent.”
Top five hotspots for home sellers
1. Newmarket, Suffolk
Average asking price: £320,043
Famous for its population of racehorses, Newmarket is a small town surrounded by open countryside around 13 miles north east of Cambridge. Its high street provides a good range of shops, restaurants and pubs.
Local estate agent Neil Harris, a Director at Cheffins in Newmarket, says there are huge levels of interest for every new property listed for sale in the area.
“We’ve consistently benefitted from Cambridge’s house price growth, and as Cambridge becomes increasingly expensive, coupled with its fast-growing population and booming economy, buyers have continually looked to move to Newmarket in search of more space for their money,” he says.
2. Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire
Average asking price: £694,085
The historic market town of Berkhamsted has great schools, the Chiltern Hills on the doorstep, and a commute to Euston Station which takes just over half an hour. The town also has a lovely Art Deco cinema and plenty of gastropubs and boutiques.
3. Witney, Oxfordshire
Average asking price: £347,798
Just on the edge of the Cotswolds, the market town of Witney is a thriving little gem which teems with boutiques and gastropubs, and is just 12 miles out of Oxford.
You can find everything from thatched cottages to manor houses here. The nearest station is at Combe, six miles away, and journeys to Paddington take from around an hour and a half.
4. High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Average asking price: £308,187
Grammar Schools and the Chiltern Hills are the two big reasons buyers flood to High Wycombe. The town itself is pretty modern. It also has a very fast commute with trains to Marylebone taking from half an hour.
5. St Ives, Cambridgeshire
Average asking price: £307,187
St Ives – in Cambridgeshire – is a market town 12 miles north-west of the centre of Cambridge. It sits on the River Great Ouse, with a sailing club at St Ives Lakes. The town centre is small, but there are some good riverside pubs, and plenty of shops and restaurants.