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Hottest property markets in England and Wales revealed by Zoopla

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Wigan is the nation’s property hotspot. The Greater Manchester town is the fastest place to sell a home in England and Wales, with the typical property selling in only 26 days, new research has revealed.

That is 18 days quicker than the average across England and Wales, where homes sold subject to contract typically take 44 days to go under offer, according to the latest figures by property website Zoopla.

Zoopla suggested that Wigan is appealing to buyers due to its good transport links and lower property prices than nearby Manchester. And what buyers want the most there is a three-bedroom semi-detached house, which was the fastest-selling property type in the town.

This three-bedroom semi-detached house in Wigan, Greater Manchester, is on the market for £140,000, via Alan Batt estate agents

This three-bedroom semi-detached house in Wigan, Greater Manchester, is on the market for £140,000, via Alan Batt estate agents

The quickest place to sell a property revealed: Homes in Wigan are in hot demand, with homes typically selling in only 26 days

The quickest place to sell a property revealed: Homes in Wigan are in hot demand, with homes typically selling in only 26 days

Also within commuting distance to Manchester is Salford, which ranked in joint second place with a time to sell of 27 days.

Redditch and Knowsley also typically take the same time to sell and are similarly located on the rural-urban fringe of Birmingham and Liverpool respectively. 

This two-bedroom semi-detached house in Rotherham, in Yorkshire and the Humber, is for sale for £150,000, via Strike estate agents

This two-bedroom semi-detached house in Rotherham, in Yorkshire and the Humber, is for sale for £150,000, via Strike estate agents

TOP 20 FASTEST-MOVING PROPERTY MARKETS (FEBRUARY 2021)
Rank Local Authority Region Number of days on the market – February 2021 Fastest-moving property type Fastest-moving price ban
1 Wigan North West 26 3 bed semi-detached £ 100,000-150,000
2 Redditch West Midlands 27 3 bed semi-detached £ 150,000-200,000
= Knowsley North West 27 3 bed terraced £ 150,000-200,000
= Salford North West 27 2 bed terraced £ 100,000-150,000
= Sheffield Yorkshire and the Humber 27 3 bed semi-detached £ 150,000-200,000
= Medway South East 27 2 bed terraced £ 200,000-250,000
7 Liverpool North West 30 1 bed flat £ 150,000-200,000
8 Neath Port Talbot Wales 31 3 bed semi-detached £ 150,000-200,000
9 Isle of Wight South East 32 3 bed semi-detached £ 150,000-200,000
= Bridgend Wales 32 3 bed semi-detached £ 150,000-200,000
= Manchester North West 32 1 bed flat £ 100,000-150,000
= Barnsley Yorkshire and the Humber 32 3 bed semi-detached £ 100,000-150,000
13 Bristol South West 33 2 bed terraced £ 300,000-350,000
= Mansfield East Midlands 33 2 bed semi-detached £ 100,000-150,000
= Wirral North West 33 3 bed semi-detached £ 150,000-200,000
= Rotherham Yorkshire and the Humber 33 2 bed semi-detached £ 150,000-200,000
= St. Helens North West 33 3 bed semi-detached £ 150,000-200,000
= Warrington North West 33 3 bed semi-detached £ 100,000-150,000
= Leeds Yorkshire and the Humber 33 3 bed semi-detached £ 150,000-200,000
20 Gateshead North East 34 3 bed semi-detached £ 100,000-150,000
Source: Zoopla         

Commuter towns lead the way

The fastest-moving property markets continue near Sheffield, with homes in Barnsley and Rotherham also featuring in the top 20.

Barnsley has an average time to sell of 32 days, while Rotherham has a slightly slower market with properties taking an average of 33 days to go under offer.

Despite this, the traditionally fast moving urban markets of Liverpool, Sheffield, and Manchester continue to also be speedy, with the average seller achieving an offer within 34 days.

It highlights how, while there is a race for space in the outskirts of cities amid the pandemic, there’s still increasing competition among buyers in city centres due to reduced supply.

The publication of the list of the top 20 fastest moving property markets follows the extension of the stamp duty holiday.

The tax break will continue to apply to the first £500,000 of a home’s purchase price until June 30, 2021.

It will then taper off, applying to the first £250,000 until the end of September, before returning to £125,000 at the beginning of October.

Scotland was excluded from this analysis as the stamp duty holiday has not been extended there.

The good news for those hoping to clinch a deal before the end of the stamp duty holiday in September is that the fastest moving price band in 17 of the 20 markets is £250,000 or less.

It means both buyers and sellers in these markets have a good chance of completing their purchase before the end of the stamp duty holiday.

Coastal locations proving popular

Reflecting the increased demand for properties by the sea, several coastal locations feature in the top 20.

Medway, in Kent, is the fastest moving coastal market in England and Wales with properties taking an average of 27 days to go under offer.

Other locations such as the Isle of Wight have seen dramatic improvements in the speed of their property market. Properties on the island are currently taking 32 days to sell, a staggering 29 days faster than the same time last year.

Two coastal areas in Wales also feature in the top 20, with the time to sell in Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend at 31 and 32 days respectively.

Both areas have a lot to offer home hunters, with easy access to the sea and countryside, and house prices sitting well below the average £226,400 price of a property in Britain today.

This three-bedroom semi-detached house in Yarmouth, on the Isle of Wight, is for sale for £125,000, via Spence Willard estate agents

This three-bedroom semi-detached house in Yarmouth, on the Isle of Wight, is for sale for £125,000, via Spence Willard estate agents

MARKETS WITH THE IMPROVEMENTS IN TIME TO SELL (RANKED BY NUMBER OF DAYS SELLING TIMES REDUCED)
Rank Local Authority Region Number of days on the market – February 2021 Number of days on the market – February 2020 Change since February 2020 (days) Change since February 2020 (%) Fastest-moving property type Fastest-moving price band
1 South Tyneside North East 41 74 -33 -45% 3 bed semi-detached £ 100,000-150,000
2 Isle of Wight South East 32 61 -29 -48% 3 bed semi-detached £ 150,000-200,000
3 Swale South East 38 66 -28 -42% 2 bed terraced £ 100,000-150,000
4 Breckland East of England 46 73 -27 -37% 3 bed semi-detached £ 150,000-200,000
5 Wyre North West 47 73 -26 -36% 3 bed semi-detached £ 150,000-200,000
= Lancaster North West 42 68 -26 -38% 3 bed terraced £ 100,000-150,000
7 Stockton-on-Tees North East 41 66 -25 -38% 3 bed semi-detached £ 0-100,000
= Canterbury South East 48 73 -25 -34% 3 bed semi-detached £ 200,000-250,000
9 Tonbridge and Malling South East 47 70 -23 -33% 3 bed semi-detached £ 300,000-350,000
10 Medway South East 27 51 -24 -47% 2 bed terraced £ 200,000-250,000
Source: Zoopla               
This two-bed semi-detached house in Sittingbourne, in Swale, is for sale for £149,000, via estate agents Homewise

This two-bed semi-detached house in Sittingbourne, in Swale, is for sale for £149,000, via estate agents Homewise

The South East speeds up

There’s been a significant improvement in markets in parts of the South East of England with the time to sell dramatically reducing.

The scenic area of Swale, which encompasses part of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has seen its time to sell almost half, reduced from 66 days to 38 days.

The nearby historical city Canterbury has also seen a dramatic reduction in the time to sell, with the average property now going under offer after 48 days, down 25 days from the same time last year.

In London, Waltham Forest remains the capital’s fastest moving market, with properties taking 35 days from being listed to being sold subject to contract.

In line with London house prices, the fastest moving price band here is £400,000 to £450,000, noticeably higher than other parts of the country.

Zoopla suggested that Waltham Forest has grown in popularity in recent years, particularly among Londoners looking to get on the property ladder in a location with great transport links and without breaking the bank.

City centre locations: This two-bedroom house in Waltham Way, London, is for sale for £425,000 via estate agents Churchill Estates

City centre locations: This two-bedroom house in Waltham Way, London, is for sale for £425,000 via estate agents Churchill Estates

TOP 10 FASTEST-MOVING PROPERTY MARKETS IN LONDON
Rank Local Authority Region Number of days on the market – February 2021 Fastest-moving property type Fastest-moving price band
1 Waltham Forest London 35 2 bed terraced £ 400,000-450,000
2 Barking and Dagenham London 39 2 bed terraced £ 250,000-300,000
3 Bexley London 41 2 bed terraced £ 300,000-350,000
4 Redbridge London 48 3 bed terraced £ 300,000-350,000
5 Havering London 48 3 bed terraced £ 300,000-350,000
6 Bromley London 49 3 bed semi-detached £ 300,000-350,000
7 Sutton London 51 3 bed semi-detached £ 400,000-450,000
8 Enfield London 52 2 bed terraced £ 300,000-350,000
9 Greenwich London 54 2 bed terraced £ 300,000-350,000
10 Newham London 57 2 bed terraced £ 350,000-400,000
Source: Zoopla         

Overall, the fastest moving property type In England and Wales remains three-bedroom, semi-detached houses, which takes the top spot in 13 out of the top 20 local authorities.

The £150,000 to £200,000 price bracket also leads the way, being the fastest moving in 11 local authorities.

Gráinne Gilmore, of Zoopla, said: ‘We have observed the time taken to sell a home changing in many areas during Covid-19 pandemic. While the number of days it takes between listing a property to agreeing a sale in one of the traditionally fastest-moving moving markets such as Manchester, Liverpool or Sheffield has stayed the same, sellers in some adjacent areas may now see their properties selling just as quickly.

‘Buyers will have to move fast but the speed at which this stage of the buying process is moving also means that those looking to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday extension will be giving themselves the best chance of doing so.’

The analysis looked at the average number of days between the property being listed on Zoopla to offer – marked as Sold STC, with days on the market rounded to the nearest whole number.

Tables referring to the fastest moving markets are ranked on the median number of days until offer is achieved, while the market with largest improvement to time to sell is ranked on reduction in number of days from listing to offer (in days).

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Social Democrats activists consider deferring request on leadership contest

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A group of Social Democrats activists who want to see a leadership election in the party is looking at deferring their request to consider such a contest until after a new general secretary is appointed to the party.

A draft letter to the party’s national executive, signed by two councillors and 14 others, seeking the leadership contest emerged on Friday evening.

The letter, which has not been sent to party authorities, requested the national executive meet to hold a vote to call a leadership election.

It pays tribute to the party’s current co-leaders Catherine Murphy and Róisín Shortall, who it states “have done exceptional work”, but adds that “it is now time to move to the next stage”.

The party released a statement later the same evening saying its TDs are “united behind co-leaders Catherine Murphy and Róisín Shortall”. This statement was shared on Twitter by all six of the party’s Dáil Deputies.

One of the councillors who signed the draft letter, Kildare representative Chris Pender, responded with his own social media post saying: “Anyone who’s read the letter will know it states we don’t have an issue with the leaders, but we believe in the democratic right to vote for that/those leaders.

“A leadership contest would give members the opportunity to show support for the current leaders, if that’s what they want.”

Cllr Cat O’Driscoll, who sits on Dublin City Council, was the other public representative who signed the draft letter.

Motivations

Sources insisted the motivations behind seeking a contest include giving the Social Democrats’ membership a say in who leads the party, as well as an issue of timing. They say with no general election expected imminently, it would give the next leader time to prepare.

It was also revealed on Friday that Brian Sheehan, a former director of the Yes Equality campaign, is to step down from his role as Social Democrats general secretary in early September. The decision is not connected with the call for a leadership election and those behind the draft letter were unaware of Mr Sheehan’s decision to leave the job.

However, it has prompted a rethink of the request for a leadership contest.

The Irish Times understands the activists are considering a new version of the letter that takes Mr Sheehan’s departure into account and would not seek a discussion about a leadership contest until after his successor is in place and has had some time in the job. A source suggested the approach with any new letter would be “a bit more cautious”.

On Monday, a party spokeswoman ruled out any contest for the leadership, either before or after the appointment of a new general secretary.

“The rules of the party state any leader must be a TD and all of our TDs are united in their support for the party leadership. The general secretary position is entirely unrelated to the party leadership,” she said.

Ms Murphy and Ms Shortall have jointly led the Social Democrats since its establishment in 2015.


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Instagrammer captures abandoned Welsh property in series of eerie photographs

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Who would live in a house like this? Instagrammer photographs abandoned Welsh property – complete with a bottle of Champagne for ‘Grandad’s’ 90th birthday, dishes still in the sink and a newspaper dating back to 1956

  • Photographs reveal the rooms have been untouched for decades and house opened bottle of Champagne  
  • Discovery was made by Instagrammer Kyle Urbex while exploring the countryside in Flintshire, North Wales 
  • Kyle said: ‘Overall the whole exploration just left me wondering the whole backstory’ 
  • ***Do YOU know who lived in the abandoned house? Contact izzy.nikolic@mailonline.co.uk*** 

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An abandoned Welsh house has been captured in a series of eerie photographs complete with a bottle of Champagne for ‘Grandad’s’ 90th birthday and dishes still in the sink.  

Photographs reveal rooms that have been untouched for decades and reveal a bottle of bubbly with a sticker which reads: ‘Happy 90th Birthday. Sorry I can’t be there to drink this with you! Lots of love James xxx.’  

The property has been dubbed ‘Granddad’s abandoned house’ after it was discovered tucked away in the woods. 

A piano can also be seen with sheet music still in place along with clothes hanging up and dishes still in the sink.

Photographs reveal rooms that have been untouched for decades and reveal a bottle of bubbly with a sticker which reads: 'Happy 90th Birthday. Sorry I can't be there to drink this with you! Lots of love James xxx'

Pictured: A piano can also be seen with sheet music still in place along with clothes hanging up

Photographs reveal rooms that have been untouched for decades and reveal a bottle of bubbly with a sticker which reads: ‘Happy 90th Birthday. Sorry I can’t be there to drink this with you! Lots of love James xxx’

The property has been dubbed 'Granddad's abandoned house' after it was discovered tucked away in the woods. Pictured: The exterior of the property

The property has been dubbed ‘Granddad’s abandoned house’ after it was discovered tucked away in the woods. Pictured: The exterior of the property 

Random debris including a broken bicycle, piping, empty tins and folding tables and chairs were left strewn throughout the house

The discovery was made by Instagrammer Kyle Urbex (pictured) while he was exploring the countryside in Flintshire, North Wales

Random debris including a broken bicycle, piping, empty tins and folding tables and chairs were left strewn throughout the house

Mr Urbex said: 'I visited the property just over four weeks ago and getting to the actual location wasn't too bad, just a walk up a small hill and the door was wide open'

Mr Urbex said: ‘I visited the property just over four weeks ago and getting to the actual location wasn’t too bad, just a walk up a small hill and the door was wide open’

The discovery was made by Instagrammer Kyle Urbex while he was exploring the countryside in Flintshire, North Wales.

Kyle also spotted a newspaper dating back to 1956 in what he believes was once someone’s ‘dream family home.’

He said: ‘I visited the property just over four weeks ago and getting to the actual location wasn’t too bad, just a walk up a small hill and the door was wide open.

‘Once inside I instantly saw the whole location was eerie because it was a house full to the brim of memories, ranging from clothes in the bedroom to old decaying pianos which once may have entertained many.

‘The porch area had been trashed, however the seating still remained intact and of course the champagne bottle for his 90th birthday still left on the fireplace.

He added: 'Once inside I instantly saw the whole location was eerie because it was a house full to the brim of memories, ranging from clothes in the bedroom to old decaying pianos which once may have entertained many'

Dishes are left undone in the sink in the kitchen

He added: ‘Once inside I instantly saw the whole location was eerie because it was a house full to the brim of memories, ranging from clothes in the bedroom to old decaying pianos which once may have entertained many’

Kyle says he has now been left wondering about the story behind the house. He added: ‘While the place appears to have been ransacked by vandals, clothes still hang in wardrobes; one of the few signs of the home it once was’

Kyle also spotted a newspaper dating back to 1956 in what he believes was once someone's 'dream family home'

Kyle also spotted a newspaper dating back to 1956 in what he believes was once someone’s ‘dream family home’

Mr Urbex added: 'Overall the whole exploration just left me wondering the whole backstory and how somebody could just leave so much memories and cherished possessions behind'

Mr Urbex added: ‘Overall the whole exploration just left me wondering the whole backstory and how somebody could just leave so much memories and cherished possessions behind’

‘I found it quite sad really given all the memories just left to be forgotten about. As well as the house there was a caravan hidden at the back in all the overgrowth which had more memories inside, old books and so on.

‘I managed to uncover an old bike in the shed which looked like it had been there quite a while.

‘Alongside all of these findings I came across a newspaper dated from November 3 1956.’

Kyle says he has now been left wondering about the story behind the house.

He added: ‘While the place appears to have been ransacked by vandals, clothes still hang in wardrobes; one of the few signs of the home it once was.

‘Overall the whole exploration just left me wondering the whole backstory and how somebody could just leave so much memories and cherished possessions behind.’

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Foley to bring school reopening plan to Cabinet on Tuesday

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Minister for Education Norma Foley says she has every confidence schools will reopen fully from late August and early September.

Ms Foley said there was ongoing engagement between her department and public health officials on the matter but all schools were set to reopen.

Strong mitigation measures would be in place in schools to ensure that they would continue to be controlled environments, she told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show on Monday.

Covid-19 infection rates among children were at their highest when children were not at school and public health experts had pointed out “on a consistent basis to schools being a very significantly controlled environment”.

The safe operation of the Leaving Certificate exams and enhanced summer camps indicated that the safe operation of education could be maintained, she said.

A plan would be put in place to allow schools to “draw down” CO2 monitors and the Minister said she was confident there would be enough monitors for all schools by the start of the new school year.

In relation to Covid-19 vaccines for children, Ms Foley said the “expertise” lay with the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) from which her department would take guidance.

“I have received confirmation that the 16 to 18-year-old cohort should be in a position for online registration in the coming days, and I have been advised that the 15-year-olds cohort are still being considered by NIAC and there has been no definitive timeline given,” she added.

Ms Foley will bring a plan to Cabinet on Tuesday outlining enhanced public information campaigns, the outcome of antigen testing pilots, and the purchase of C02 monitors to assist in ventilating classrooms.

Capacity limits on school transport services will also remain in place.

Government sources were adamant on Sunday that second-level education would resume in the autumn, despite concerns among public-health officials that the wave could grow following the reopening of indoor dining today, before peaking in September.

“Schools will reopen,” a senior Coalition source said.

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