Source: UK HPI
Yorkshire and Humber has only just recovered ‘on average’ from the falls seen post the credit crunch and, although we are seeing property prices increase year on year, it’s only just in line with inflation at 3%, so those owning property with cash are not going to feel much richer today than they were over a decade ago. On the other hand, for those that bought at the low of the market, property prices have seen a decent increase. With flat prices still 5% lower than they were 10 years ago, it shows that the city centre flats market – which was a success in many areas south of Watford – could potentially have been a bit of a disaster for investors, or even for first-time buyers who were keen to get on the ladder. This is one of those areas that in several cases, tenants should be very pleased they didn’t strap themselves down to a property that has made no money and that they have had the flexibility to live the lifestyle they can and want.
LSL Acadata HPI “Outside London, it is hard to spot the slowdown in property prices. At least nine of the major cities in England & Wales set new peak prices in February. They include West Yorkshire, with Leeds, in Yorks and Humber (3.7%)” (Mar 18)
Hometrack “Cardiff, Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield have all recorded a sustained upward shift in the annual rate of growth over the last 12 months. Capital growth in these cities has under-performed that recorded across the larger regional cities over the last two years. The increased rate of growth is a result of rising demand and a lack of housing for sale.” (Mar 18)
Source: UK HPI
This is an incredible range of price growth (and some still in negative territory) within one region. Bradford and Wakefield are clearly struggling to recover from the harsh recession in their areas, while economically successful cities such as York and Leeds are clearly leading the way and performing so much better – with Leeds and Sheffield seeing more normal year-on-year growth. However, it looks like York has peaked now and prices are settling back as affordability and the fall in the buy to let is dragging demand. And, although Bradford remains firmly in the doldrums price-wise, Wakefield seems to have rediscovered its mojo with highest year on year increase. Clearly there are still some great bargains to be had in this region and, with average FTBs paying under £140k for a home, it’s likely many are still getting on the ladder with zero stamp duty, so government policy to scrap it is clearly not making much of an impact here. FTBs can take their time currently to find a home worth living in, while tenants can feel relatively relaxed they aren’t missing out too much and those trading up and down who price their property fairly are likely to be able to buy and sell in a fairly relaxed, but still moving, market.
Prices aren’t expected to rise too much moving forward over the next five years; good news for those looking to buy who need to save, not so good news from an investment perspective or for those hoping to secure natural house price growth so they can move up the ladder. To keep up with inflation over the next five years, prices would need to go up by 17%, so if Savills and Chesterton’s forecasts are accurate, any cash investors would see their money ‘standing still’ while Knight Frank’s forecasts would suggest that real property values may well fall. Anyone looking to invest in this area would be wise to consider and talk to a mortgage broker about the benefits of gearing.
Despite talk of rents being ‘extortionate’ and ‘sky rocketing’ on a regular basis, this really isn’t the case in Yorks and Humber. Changes until recently have been well below the England average and indeed the general cost of living (inflation) so tenants can be satisfied that, in the main, they aren’t being ‘ripped off’ nor are they likely to be spending rent as ‘dead money’ as property prices haven’t really risen as well as they have done in the past, meaning it’s often financially more efficient to rent rather than let. Only in areas and for property types that are ‘booming’ can the costs of buying outweigh renting.
For more, download our comprehensive Yorkshire & Humber regional property report.
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