Hertfordshire is well-known for its leafy suburbs, affluent towns and villages and its brushings with the rich and famous.
It’s perhaps no surprise then that a number of the county’s most popular hotspots have been ranked as some of the fastest-moving local areas for million-pound properties outside London.
The fastest-moving area outside London is Thames Ditton in Surrey, where £1m homes homes are typically finding a buyer in just 26 days, PA reports.
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But with good travel links to London, Hertfordshire is also home to many fast-moving areas, with leafy Berkhamsted, Hitchin and St Albans – the county’s only city – also on the list.
Over the past year, million-pound homes in London have taken an average of 67 days to find a buyer compared with an average of 85 days pre-pandemic.
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The fastest-moving local areas for million-pound properties outside London
Here are the fastest-moving local areas for million-pound properties outside London between July 2020 and June 2021, according to Rightmove, with the average number of days to find a buyer.
1. Thames Ditton, Surrey, South East, 26
2. Epsom, Surrey, South East, 33
3. Haywards Heath, West Sussex, South East, 37
4. Ashtead, Surrey, South East, 39
5. Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, East of England, 40
=6. St Albans, Hertfordshire, East of England, 41
=6. Hertford, Hertfordshire, East of England, 41
=6. Chelmsford, Essex, East of England, 41
9. Hitchin, Hertfordshire, East of England, 42
10. Reigate, Surrey, South East, 43
“Millionaire movers turning their city commute into a rural route”
Overall, London has shifted from being the fastest-selling region to fifth position, behind Scotland, the East of England, South East and the East Midlands.
Around four in 10 (40 per cent) million-pound sales now take place in London, compared with nearly half (47 per cent) before the pandemic, Rightmove said.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: “Prime sales growth has outperformed the wider market over the past year, as many people across Great Britain have chosen to take a step up the property ladder, potentially moving further out to afford a bigger property, or finally making the move to their forever home.
“Whilst London is still home to a significant portion of the prime market, some millionaire movers have turned their city commute into a rural route.
“These dynamics have helped push swathes of the UK’s property stock into the higher price brackets, and have led to a broader geographical spread of million-pound properties.”
Meanwhile, Scotland has overtaken London as the fastest-moving market for million-pound properties, with top-end homes in Scotland finding a buyer in 61 days on average – 25 days faster than before the coronavirus pandemic when it took 86 days, Rightmove said.
The analysis compared the year before the pandemic with the year since the housing market re-opened.
John Boyle, director at Rettie & Co in Scotland said: “The Scottish £1m market has proven to be resilient in the face of the pandemic.
“Just like the wider housing market here, demand has been moving well ahead of supply, leading to price rises and fast-moving sales.
“The market is particularly strong in the east of the country, with Edinburgh alone accounting for well over half of all Scottish £1m sales.
“However, other areas are seeing rising £1m sales, particularly in outlying areas of the wider Lothians market, with sales outside Edinburgh notably higher in the east compared with recent years.”
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