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Revealed! The top 10 most (and least) popular property spots in the UK

The impact of Brexit uncertainty and the slowing economy on property sales has led to some strange data emerging on the country’s hottest purchase spots, and a recent report from Springbok Properties last week added to the trend.

Using data from Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location and OntheMarket, the estate agency reported that the city with the highest levels of buyer demand in the first quarter was Scotland’s Falkirk, witnessing a buyer demand score of 64%.

The report calculated the most and least popular of 200 British cities based on the total ratio of stock listed for sale, and homes which had gone under offer or been sold subject to contract. If 100 properties in a city are listed, for example, but 60 have already sold subject to contract or are under offer, this town would score a demand percentage of 60%.

Popularity contest

Scotland was represented well on the list with Glasgow and Edinburgh locking out three of the top four places on the list. In fact, on a UK basis, buyer demand in cities in the Midlands and further north was much stronger than in the traditionally-popular areas in London and the South East. Only Dartford in Kent registered on the most-popular list.

Commenting on the data, Springbok Properties founder Shepherd Ncube noted: “With Brexit uncertainty taking hold on a national level, it’s interesting to see some of the less conventional areas coming to the forefront where buyer demand is concerned and these areas are certainly benefiting from a more business-as-usual attitude where home selling is concerned.

The UK’s most popular cities

City

Current demand

Falkirk

64%

Glasgow

58%

Sale, Greater Manchester

57%

Edinburgh

56%

Dartford, Kent

53%

Dudley, West Midlands

53%

Bristol

52%

Walsall, West Midlands

51%

Sheffield, South Yorkshire

51%

Coventry, West Midlands

49%

London languishes

Springbok’s data did show that things aren’t all bright north of the border, though. Aberdeen clinched the title of UK city with the lowest levels of homebuyer demand, with a reading of just 10%.

What the data also showed was that market activity in London remains pretty subdued, the capital city sitting in sixth position on the list of least popular metropolitan areas.

The UK’s least popular cities

City

Current demand

 Aberdeen

10%

Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham

26%

Sunderland, Tyne and Wear

26%

Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire

26%

 Darlington, County Durham

26%

London

27%

Preston, Lancashire

27%

Blackpool, Lancashire

27%

High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

29%

Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne and Wear

30%

Discussing the London market more specifically, NCube said: “The more affordable, peripheral boroughs remain in good favour with London home buyers but prime central London in particular continues to pay the price of over inflated prices driven by previous market conditions.”

Homebuyer demand in London

Borough

Current demand

Bexley

51%

Barking and Dagenham

46%

Waltham Forest

45%

Lewisham

43%

Havering

41%

Bromley

41%

Sutton

40%

Hillingdon

38%

Haringey

38%

Greenwich

38%

Kingston upon Thames

35%

Enfield

35%

Merton

34%

Croydon

34%

Redbridge

33%

Harrow

32%

Hounslow

30%

Southwark

29%

Islington

29%

Lambeth

29%

Hackney

28%

Wandsworth

27%

Richmond upon Thames

26%

Newham

26%

Ealing

26%

Barnet

23%

Hammersmith and Fulham

22%

Brent

19%

Tower Hamlets

19%

City of London

18%

Camden

17%

Kensington and Chelsea

13%

Westminster

12%

What now for buy-to-let investors?

This data gives buy-to-let investors plenty of food for thought. But it doesn’t mean that you should rush out and buy a place in either the UK or London’s demand hotspots, though. The mounting costs and increased regulatory loopholes associated with renting out a property makes it a much-less attractive proposition than investing in the stock market, I believe. And there’s no shortage of great stocks out there to help you make a fortune. It’s why I, for one, shunned the role of landlord for that of shareholder instead…

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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.