THE average time to sell a property in the UK has increased from 72 days in January 2018 to 77 days in the current market, according to new research.

Towns in the North West of England are where sellers have seen the biggest improvements from last year, with Burnley, Morecambe, Widnes, Lancaster and Oldham all cutting their selling time by at least 14 days.

The data from property portal Rightmove, which is based on when a property is first listed until it is marked as under offer, also shows that Runcorn in Cheshire has the fastest-moving housing market outside of London.

Indeed, Runcorn, where the average asking price is £132,653, reduced its selling time by three weeks from 69 in 2018 to just 48 days currently, which is 29 days quicker than the national average. Experts in the area suggest this could have been driven by the opening of the Mersey Gateway Bridge.

In Scotland, Livingston is where homes are selling quickest. On average, it takes just 35 days for properties to get snapped up in the West Lothian town and Redditch in the West Midlands which takes top spot as the fastest selling market in England, with properties in the Worcestershire town selling in 45 days, on average.

Gloucester in the South West and Wellingborough in the East Midlands are the second and third quickest to sell locations in England, although homes in Gloucester are taking two days longer to sell than they were this time last year. In Wales, Newport is the fastest-moving housing market, with homes being sold in 47 days there.

“This analysis reflects what agents have recently been telling us, and what we saw in Rightmove’s house price index, that more northerly regions are faring better in terms of pricing power and willingness to move than those farther south,” said Rightmove’s property expert Miles Shipside.

“Agents report that properties in the North West are seeing positive market conditions with strong demand from buyers. Once again improvements in local level infrastructure is a key factor, with the top areas benefiting from better transport links to bigger city centre employment hubs,” he added.