Since the start of the pandemic, we saw many people looking to move to coastal towns and villages to enjoy the fresh sea air and an outdoorsy lifestyle. 

And while the property market remains busy, we’re starting to see a slowdown in buyers looking for homes by the sea, when compared to the last couple of years. 

Our property expert, Tim Bannister, says: “Though demand is still high in many coastal areas, it has slowed from the heady levels seen in parts of 2020 and 2021. As more choice becomes available in these seaside areas, we’re seeing some of the competition between buyers and renters begin to cool off”.

The great return to the city

Now, home-movers are returning to cities. While coastal areas begin to cool, competition between buyers and renters has risen across Great Britain’s 50 largest cities – by an average of 13% for buyers, and 29% for renters over the last year. 

Competition is measured by the number of buyers contacting estate agents in an area, compared with the number of properties available in that location. As demand eases, and the number of available properties increases in an area, competition between buyers becomes less fierce. 

Bath is the number one city hotspot, where competition between buyers has increased by 49% since the same period in 2021.

Take a look at the top city hotspots.

Asking Price
May 2022
Change in buyer
competition YoY
1. Bath£558,882+49%
2. Carlisle£155,077+42%
3. Newcastle Upon Tyne£208,951+36%
4. London£689,230+35%
5. Oxford£539,059 +33%
6. Chester£296,556+30%
7. Southampton£270,967+27%
8. St. Albans£669,020+26%
9. Dundee£155,390+24%
10. Cambridge£524,101+24%

Home-buyers are looking to northern cities

We’re seeing increased buyer competition in northern cities, with Carlisle and Newcastle Upon Tyne taking second and third place on our list.  

In Carlisle, the average house price sits £212,000 below the current national average. As well as a vibrant city centre with a historic castle and cathedral, The Lake District, the nation’s biggest national park, is nearby. 

Newcastle Upon Tyne’s famed Quayside, world-renowned arts scene and nightlife are also attracting home-buyers, with competition between buyers up 36% since 2021. 

Competition in cities is also increasing for rental homes

Along with home-buyers, renters are also looking to move to Britain’s key cities, too. Competition between tenants has increased by 134% in Edinburgh, and 115% in London, when compared to the same period in 2021. Renters are also seeking out homes in Greater Manchester, with Salford and Manchester coming in at third and fourth in our renters’ city hotspots list. 

LocationAverage Asking
Rent May 2022
(per calendar
Change in
1. Edinburgh£1,213+134%
2. London£2,449+115%
3. Salford£1,036+91%
4. Manchester£1,041+83%
5. Newcastle Upon Tyne£961+79%
6. Southampton£1,114+73%
7. Glasgow£908+65%
8. Aberdeen£859+59%
9. Durham£867+57%
10. Cardiff£1,170 +55%

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