House prices: UK's property hotspots revealed

·Finance Reporter, Yahoo Finance UK
·3-min read
property hotspot People walk through the high street in Bath as the England begins a second national lockdown.
Bath is the top property hotspot across the UK. Photo: PA

Bath has been named the biggest property hotspot across the UK, with increased competition pushing asking prices up by more than 15% over the last year.

The average asking price in Bath jumped more than 15% to £555,018 last year, data from property site Rightmove (RMV.L) shows.

Truro, in Cornwall, was the second biggest price hotspot, with asking prices jumping 14.8% over the last year, while Southend-On-Sea, the UK’s newest city after being granted city status earlier this year, was third with a rise of 13.4% in annual asking prices.

Properties in Truro finished the year with an average asking price of £323,209 while homes in Southend-On-Sea reached £343,033 on average.

Read more: UK's top property hotspots revealed

Across the top ten city hotpots, the average increase in asking prices is 12.6%, outpacing the current national average of 9.9%.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: “Since the pandemic started, we’ve been tracking interesting changes in buyers’ relationship with cities. In the first stages of the pandemic, we saw the popularity of some major cities like London temporarily drop as more people looked for more space. However, for other cities like Bath or Plymouth, which perhaps have easier access to the coast and countryside, we saw demand really soar when the market reopened in 2020. Initially, the supply of homes available kept up with some of this surge in demand, steadying asking prices.

“Now, we’re still seeing really high buyer demand for cities like Bath, Plymouth and Truro, but the number of new homes coming onto the market hasn’t been able to keep up with the buyers enquiring, which has led to asking prices accelerating over the last year.”

City price hotspots. Table: Rightmove
City price hotspots. Table: Rightmove

In the South West, where the price hotspots of Bath, Truro, Plymouth & Gloucester are located, the number of properties available has dropped by 39% compared to last year.

As the demand and supply mismatch continues, Glasgow comes up as the most competitive city to buy a home, measured by number of people enquiring about each available property, followed by Stirling and Sheffield.

Read more: UK house prices hit record high as homes sell faster than ever

John O’Malley, CEO at Pacitti Jones in Glasgow, said: “The Glasgow property market is still very much in favour of the seller – and whilst it is great for those selling, it can be a turbulent experience for buyers. As we are seeing properties being snapped up in a week, understandably sellers are hesitant to bring their own property to the market until they have agreed the purchase of their next home.

“This is making it difficult to bring liquidity to the market and means that buyers are then missing out due to the numbers competing for the same property. As we are seeing 50+ viewers and offers being made within days for every property coming on the market, those without anything to sell are still able to move more quickly and therefore remain in favour. This lack of supply then results in more demand for available properties and inevitably means property prices in Glasgow remain high.”

Competition has more than doubled in Exeter over the last year (+110%), the biggest increase of any city. Lancaster is the second competition hotspots (+100%) and Worcester is third (+99%).

Watch: Will UK house prices ever fall?

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