Dartford, Rochester, Watford, Bristol and Reading are among Britain’s top hotspots for the fastest-selling properties, according to Rightmove.
The property listings website said homes in Dartford, Kent now typically take just 16 days to sell – making it the fastest place to sell a property in Britain.
The average time it takes to sell a property in Dartford has fallen by around a month compared with a year ago, when it typically took 49 days for a home to be snapped up.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said the fact that homes in Dartford are selling in just over two weeks – and that asking prices there have increased by 16.6% annually – “shows just how in-demand the places within easy commuting distance to London have become over the past year”.
He said: “The average asking price of a property in Dartford is under £300,000, so it’s not hard to see why it’s so sought after compared to average prices being more than double that in London.
“Further out from the capital, it seems that Bristol could be becoming the new Cambridge, which was the quickest place to sell a property two years ago.”
In Bristol it takes just 31 days on average to sell a home – and the prices sellers are demanding have increased by 9% over the past year.
Rightmove’s research was based on the number of days it took between a property being listed on its website and marked as sold subject to contract.
While the London commuter counties of Kent, Essex, and Hertfordshire were home to many of the fastest-selling properties, northern towns such as Warrington, Crewe, Middlesbrough and Bury have also seen big falls in the length of time it takes for a property to be snapped up.
In Warrington, the average time it takes to sell a property has been cut from 104 days in January 2015 to 66 days by January 2016.
Rightmove excluded London from its survey tables, to give more of a picture of property trends across Britain generally. But even if London was included, Rightmove said nowhere in the capital would beat Dartford for the average property selling time. Sidcup on the London/Kent border would come the closest to Dartford’s selling time, taking 20 days on average to sell a home.
Across Britain, the average time to sell a property has fallen to 79 days from 87 days a year ago, Rightmove said.
The average time it takes to sell a property in Scotland was down from 97 days a year ago to 87 days, and in Wales it fell from 108 days a year ago to 97 days.
Darlington was named by the website as the slowest place to sell a home in the study, taking an average of 132 days to find a buyer. St Helens was named the second slowest at 128 days, followed by Wakefield at 120 days and Bradford at 119 days.
Here are the fastest-selling property locations in Britain, according to Rightmove’s research, with the average number of days it takes to sell a property and the average property asking price there followed by the annual change in the asking price (London is excluded from the findings):
1. Dartford, Kent, 16, £285,782 16.6%
2. Grays, Essex, 26, £270,224, 13.2%
3. Benfleet, Essex, 28, £333,056, 8.2%
=4. Crawley, West Sussex, 30, £299,595, 10.9%
=4. Leigh-On-Sea, Essex, 30, £358,440, 13.3%
=6. Stevenage, Hertfordshire, 31, £280,691, 13.5%
=6. Bristol, 31, £294,851, 9.1%
8. Watford, Hertfordshire, 32, £433,679, 19.7%
=9. Rochester, Kent, 33, £250,334, 10.1%
=9. Reading, Berkshire, 33, £367,495, 15.4%
Here are the places with the biggest falls in the average time it takes to sell a property, with the average number of days to sell in January 2016, followed by the average number of days to sell in January 2015, the average property asking price and the annual percentage change in the asking price:
1. Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, 50, 95, £184,905, 4.2%
2. Ramsgate, Kent, 42, 84, £212,948, 12.4%
3. Warrington, Cheshire, 66, 104, £221,657, 0.8%
4. Crewe, Cheshire, 72, 109, £144,013, 6.6%
5. Dudley, West Midlands, 73, 109, £143,884, 4.8%
6. Dartford, Kent, 16, 49, £285,782, 16.6%
7. Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, 30, 62, £358,440, 13.3%
8. Middlesbrough, Cleveland, 94, 125, £134,657, 1.1%
=9. Margate, Kent, 63, 93, £205,821, 16.8%
=9. Bury, Greater Manchester, 76, 106, £180,804, 1.7%