Shirley Ballas and Paul Hollywood’s home town of Wallasey tops UK property hotspots

Anthony France
·3-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Wallasey in Merseyside has topped a table of property hotspots after recording the biggest rise in asking prices over the past year of any town and city in Britain.

According to Rightmove, homes in the Wirral birthplace of Strictly Come Dancing’s Shirley Ballas, 60, came on to the market listed at an average of £176,707 in March, an increase of 15.6 per cent compared with March 2020.

The town – where Bake Off chef Paul Hollywood, 55, was also born - is one of seven in the website’s top 10 in the north-west of England.

Asking prices in Wallasey are nearly £24,000 higher than a year ago and one in three properties there sold within a week.

The housing market has been booming since the first lockdown ended.


Typically, homes in cheaper parts of the country have recorded the biggest price rises.

Second on Rightmove’s list was Leigh in Greater Manchester, with a 12.8 per cent increase, while in fourth and fifth place were another Merseyside town, Birkenhead, then Wednesbury in the West Midlands.

Despite asking prices rising by more than 12 per cent in all three towns, the average remained below £175,000.

The listings site said the average asking price across Britain is £327,797, an annual rise of 5.1 per cent.

In third place was Penzance in Cornwall, where asking prices rose by 12.5 per cent to an average of £280,102.

Cornwall recently replaced London as the most searched place on Rightmove.

Property expert Tim Bannister, of Rightmove, said: “The average asking prices of all locations in the price hotspot list are below the national average, and I’d expect them to see strong price growth continue for the rest of the year, especially as many buyers will be exempt from stamp duty in these areas right up until the end of September.

Paul Hollywood/Twitter
Paul Hollywood/Twitter

“The frenetic market opens up a very real possibility that you could miss out on the home you really want to move to if you haven’t already put your own up for sale, or if you’re a first-time buyer and you haven’t first researched what you can definitely afford.

“We recently found that a much higher proportion of chain-free homes are up for sale, so it’s clear some buyers are already choosing to sell first and buy next rather than tie themselves into a chain.

“To put yourself in the best possible position before you request a viewing, I’d recommend getting a mortgage in principle ready, and being clear on what the final asking price you can offer is if it is a hot market where the property is likely to go to best and final offers.

“Agents are telling me that because stock is so few and far between, they’re advising home owners to first get an offer accepted on their own home, and they’re finding that many buyers are more willing to then give owners a bit more time to find their next place to move to before the chain can get moving.”

Here are the top property hotspots according to Rightmove, with the average asking price in March and the annual increase:

1. Wallasey, Merseyside, £176,707, 15.6%

2. Leigh, Greater Manchester, £160,345, 12.8%

3. Penzance, Cornwall, £280,102, 12.5%

4. Birkenhead, Merseyside, £145,437, 12.4%

5. Wednesbury, West Midlands, £172,753, 12.2%

6. Lancaster, Lancashire, £199,707, 11.8%

7. Sandbach, Cheshire, £280,888, 11.6%

8. Rossendale, Lancashire, £207,618, 11.4%

9. Oldham, Greater Manchester, £174,925, 11.3%

10. Burntwood, Staffordshire, £254,418, 11.2%

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