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Runcorn Crowned As The Country's Fastest Moving Property Market Outside Of London

The property agent, Rightmove, says house sales have accelerated faster in Runcorn than anywhere else in the country compared to this time last year.

The average home in the Mersey town sells in just 48 days –  almost a month faster than the national average.

The average time to sell a property across Great Britain is 77 days, up from 72 days in 2018.

But while the general trend has seen selling times go up, Runcorn reduced its selling time by three weeks, from 69 in 2018 to just 48 days currently.

The study found towns in the north west generally fared better than those in the south – but there was a specific reason why Runcorn was doing particularly well.

Experts believe the property market boost has been driven by the opening of the Mersey Gateway Bridge.

The £600m crossing has made it quicker and easier to cross the River Mersey than ever before.

It took almost 10 years to deliver from when the idea was first pitched, and came as a relief to thousands of drivers who had become exasperated by congestion on the Silver Jubilee Bridge.

However, it has been mired in controversy over its cashless tolling system, which has seen more than 1,000,000 fines delivered to drivers since it opened.

Scrap Mersey Toll Campaigners have already taken to social media to joke about whether house prices are selling fast “because people are rushing to get out”.

But experts have suggested shorter travel times in Runcorn, where the average house price is a modest £132,653, have made it a more desirable place to live.

Runcorn residents with a band A-F property are also entitled to free travel across the Mersey Gateway under the local user discount scheme, so it’s unlikely the tolls would put them off.

Alex Nam, junior partner and valuer at Bests Estate Agents in Runcorn, said: “The Rightmove data definitely tallies with what we’ve been experiencing over the last 12 to 18 months.

“There has been a shortage of stock and the speed of sales has been among some of the quickest I’ve seen.

“The Mersey Gateway bridge has opened during that period, so I imagine that has had an impact, for sure.

“You can get from Runcorn to Liverpool city centre in 20 minutes by car now, which means the area will be even more attractive to investors and buyers.

“Our big traffic problems have been alleviated and it’s been a significant infrastructure change.

“But there is still limited choice and the area has usually generated fairly reasonable yields in the buy-to-let market, so it’s no surprise things have been speeding up recently.”

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