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12th November 2018

Not the Frozen North

While some areas of the country are flatlining, and even going backwards in some cases, the housing market in our local region looks good and there are big reasons to be positive.

According to the Rightmove House Price Index, the East Midlands and Yorkshire are outperforming London and the South East.

At Redbrik we look after residential property across North East Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, with many diverse and individual markets within these areas. Those that work in the local market, or have been in the market to buy, sell, rent or let a property, know that our areas are doing really well, but it is now being recognised across the UK as a real shining light.

The property website Rightmove, who accumulate and process thousands of statistics, produces the House Price Index each month and it highlights the strength of the housing market in our area.

Year-on-year, prices in Yorkshire are up 4 per cent, while the East Midlands has increased by 4.7 per cent – yet despite the increase, the average time taken to sell is down to just 59 and 54 days respectively. In comparison the annual change in prices in the two regions of London and the South East are down -0.5per cent and -0.1 per cent, with days taken to sell on the increase, to 72 and 63 days.

Annual house price growth of 4 per cent and 4.7 per cent feels sustainable, especially when we consider that we are still a long way behind other major regions when it comes to our average house price. In Yorkshire and Humberside, the average home is £190,316, while in the East Midlands it is slightly more at £224,707. Compare this to the South West £303,886, East of England £349,997, South East £405,304 and Greater London £616,501 and there is quite a gap to close.

With prices comparatively low compared with the rest of the UK, our areas suffer less when it comes to buyer affordability and it is clear to see we still have plenty of potential price growth to level out the playing field, as highlighted by Miles Shipside, Rightmove Director:

“Buyer affordability ratios were not stretched to the same degree in the Midlands and the North than they were in the South, with a comparatively modest average price increase of 21 per cent since 2011. That’s left some price momentum fuel still in the tank in these regions and means that the current momentum has the mileage to carry on. That compares to the seven-year 40 per cent plus price binge seen in London and its commuter belt neighbours of the South East and East of England, which is the cause of their current indigestion.”

It’s perhaps not surprising then, that so many of the homes we market are going to ‘best and final offers’, the process where you have multiple bidders looking to secure the same property, creating a mini auction within the ‘normal’ method of sale that is referred to as Private Treaty.

At Redbrik we are up in every single measure of our business year-on-year, seeing a 16 per cent increase in viewings, 20 per cent rise in offers and 25 per cent more people choosing to market their home with us. So with high demand for homes and a lack of property available on the market, it has perhaps never been a better time to sell.

It is not just the sales market that is performing well either. Rents are up 1.0 per cent (Yorks. & Humber) and 2.7 per cent (East Mids.) from last quarter and properties are moving faster in our regions (Yorks. & Humber 36 days, East Mids. 32 days) than in the Greater London area (40 days) too.

All this paints a bright picture for our region if you are considering a property move. If you are thinking of selling, then there is an excellent opportunity to realise a fantastic price and do so in a timely manner. If you are buying, the expected house growth gives you confidence for the future and Landlords are able to generate a better return on their investment.

Set against the backdrop of a regenerated Sheffield City Centre with Heart of the City II starting to take shape, and the Northern Gateway, Elder Way and Waterside projects in Chesterfield our regions are really shaping up well.

With political uncertainties likely to affect other areas of the country more so than ours, perhaps with winter coming (and yes, we are all excited for the return of Game of Thrones too), it looks like the North is the property hotspot of the moment.