RUNCORN and Widnes are in the top 10 for the fastest-moving property markets since house sales have been able to take place once more, according to analysis.

Rightmove looked at areas in England where at least 100 new listings were added to its website between May 13 and July 1.

And Runcorn was the second highest and Widnes sixth.

At the other end of the spectrum, properties in parts of central London have been the slowest to shift.

In South Kensington and Paddington, where the average property price tag is £2 million and £1.2 million respectively, homes have been the slowest to shift since restrictions around property sales which were put in place due to coronavirus eased.

Runcorn in Cheshire was identified as the second fastest-moving property market, with 54% of homes having been matched with a buyer.

Damian Morris-Adams, managing director of Adams with branches in Runcorn and Widnes, said: "Our branches have seen exceptional activity levels since the housing market reopened. In June, we agreed 61% more sales than during the same period in 2019."

In London, "micro markets" Walthamstow and Brockley made the top 10 fastest property markets list.

But eight in 10 of the slowest markets were also in London. The majority of the slowest markets in London have average asking prices higher than the London average of £628,284.

Rightmove's commercial director Miles Shipside said: "Space, gardens, new lifestyles and escaping big cities, that pretty much sums up what we've been seeing from buyer demand since the market reopened in England.

"I can't see there being a mass exodus from the capital but it does look set to be much more challenging for sellers of more expensive properties in zone one and parts of zone two who are looking to sell quickly, as people instead look further out to the end of the Tube line to places like Walthamstow.

"The bounce back has been quite remarkable in many parts of the country, and agents in areas where new instructions are selling like hot cakes will likely have been struggling to cope with the demand, especially with safe viewing procedures also in place."

Mr Shipside added: "Buyers bouncing back in big numbers means lenders are struggling to keep pace with demand.

"Families with equity already built up are in a much better position than a number of first-time buyers who are trying to find a mortgage deal they can afford, which is even more difficult if they're looking to buy in one of the more expensive areas."

Here are the fastest-moving markets in England, according to Rightmove, with the percentage of newly listed properties that have found a buyer and the average asking price:

1. Willenhall, West Midlands, 55%, £171,506

2. Runcorn, Cheshire, 54%, £139,140

3. Walthamstow, East London, 49%, £492,755

=4. Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, 46%, £135,723

=4. Wallasey, Merseyside, 46%, £158,987

6. Widnes, Cheshire, 45%, £170,298

=7. Sutton-In-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, 44%, £152,818

=7. Brockley, South East London, 44%, £557,337

=9. Oldham, Greater Manchester, 43%, £160,083

=9. Weymouth, Dorset, 43%, £264,840