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All change in the UK property market?

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Bristol and Reading are the fastest selling property hotspots in the UK, according to data.

The estate agent comparison service’s latest Performance Index reveals that properties in both areas take an average of 26 days to sell, almost a month faster than the national average of 55 days.

The data also reveals that an average price of £289,475 was secured in Reading, while Bristol properties were sold for an average of £230,000. Ben Thompson, managing director of estateagent4me, attributes the enhanced demand for property in Reading to the imminent completion of Crossrail.

By contrast, properties in Wales were the slowest to sell (89 days) achieving an average asking price of £169,500, followed closely by Liverpool (85 days). Inner London sales took 55 days to complete, with an average asking price of £950,000. Outer London homes sold 12 days faster (43 days), with an average price of £499,995.

The Hometrack UK Cities House Price Index was also released today, which indicates that average residential property prices in Oxford have risen by £41,700 in the past year (12.3 per cent), a rate nearly four times higher than the UK average of £11,500 (6.5 per cent). By comparison, average property prices in London rose by £38,900 (10.1 per cent) to £425,700 in the same period.

House prices in Oxford now stand at an average of £380,100. All of the 20 cities included in the Index enjoyed house price gains, but Oxford recorded the fastest growth. The city’s house price-to-earnings ratio is now 12.4:1; London’s stands at 12.5:1, meaning Oxford residents find it almost as difficult as Londoners to purchase a home.

“There is a mixture of investors buying up student accommodation, while house building is constrained by the greenbelt,” Richard Donnell, director of residential research at Hometrack said.

“It also has a strong local economy and is benefitting from the recovery in the South East of England.”

Other UK cities and regions have recorded double digit property price growth. Bristol recorded the second-highest growth rate last year, with prices rising by 10.9 per cent, moving average prices to £227,600.

Donnell believes that affordability pressures will mean prices stabilise, or even fall, in future.

“The double-digit price growth registered in cities such as London, Oxford and Cambridge is being sustained by a lack of supply and below average transaction volumes, with a third of sales funded by cash or buy-to-let mortgages,” he continued.

Liverpool, Newcastle and Sheffield ranked at the bottom of the Index, with respective growth rates of 3.9 per cent, 4 per cent and 4.4 per cent.

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