Salford and Pontefract 'tops for property sales in 2015'
Salford and Pontefract were the biggest property hotspots of 2015, according to a survey of house sales taking place in towns across England and Wales.
The report, compiled by Halifax, found that the number of property sales taking place in Salford has jumped by 23% this year compared with 2014, while Pontefract in Yorkshire has seen the number of house sales increase by 20%.
Several towns in parts of Northern England, the Midlands and Wales have seen house sale numbers head upwards this year, while Southern England has seen many of the biggest falls in sales.
Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea in central London are among the places to have seen the biggest falls in sales this year, alongside Market Rasen in Lincolnshire, where sales have plunged by 30%.
An "acute shortage" of properties for buyers to choose from has constrained housing market activity, the report said.
Aberdare and Pontypridd in South Wales were among the places to see the biggest gains in sales this year, with increases of 16% and 13% respectively. In Northern England, Poulton Le Fylde, Penrith and Bridlington have also seen property sales activity increase during 2015.
To make its findings, Halifax looked at the numbers of house sales recorded by the Land Registry across more than 550 postal towns and London boroughs. It compared the number of house sales taking place in the eight months to August 2015 with those which took place during the same period in 2014.
Overall, the number of house sales across England and Wales fell by 8% compared with 2014, with 549,639 sales recorded between January and August 2015.
There were also sharp variations across local housing markets. For example, within the North West region, while sales have jumped by 23% in Salford this year, they have fallen by 16% in Clitheroe in Lancashire.
Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said: "While sales have declined in all regions, there is a clear North versus South pattern with sales falling most in Southern regions. An acute shortage of properties for sales has also added to the constraints on activity.
"Nonetheless, there remain substantial local variations in housing activity with a small number of towns recording significant increases. These towns are largely in the North and are where prices are relatively low."
Here are the 10 towns with the biggest percentage increases in property sales in 2015, compared with 2014, according to Halifax, with the percentage increase:
1. Salford, North West, 23%
2. Pontefract, Yorkshire and the Humber, 20%
=3. Halesowen, West Midlands, 18%
=3. Bridlington, Yorkshire and the Humber, 18%
5. Poulton Le Fylde, North West, 17%
=6. Aberdare, Wales, 16%
=6. Barrow In Furness, North, 16%
8. Penrith, North, 14%
=9. Bedworth, West Midlands, 13%
=9. Pontypridd, Wales, 13%
Here are the 10 towns/London boroughs with the biggest percentage falls in property sales in 2015, compared with 2014, according to Halifax, with the percentage fall:
1. Market Rasen, East Midlands, 30%
2. Uckfield, South East, 29%
=3. Walton On Thames, South East, 28%
=3. Esher, South East, 28%
=3. Kensington and Chelsea, London, 28%
=6. Batley, Yorkshire and the Humber, 27%
=6. Petersfield, South East, 27%
=6. Hammersmith and Fulham, London, 27%
=6. Sutton in Ashfield, East Midlands, 27%
10. Westminster, London, 26%
And here are the proportions of property hotspots in regions across England and Wales according to Halifax - this is the percentage of towns in these regions that recorded an increase in house sales in 2015 compared with 2014:
:: North, 38%
:: Yorkshire and the Humber, 26%
:: North West, 29%
:: East Midlands, 2%
:: West Midlands, 20%
:: East Anglia, 4%
:: Wales, 39%
:: South West, 16%
:: South East, 15%
:: Greater London, 6%