Yorkshire house prices struggle to edge back to pre-crash peak

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HOUSE prices in Yorkshire are struggling to recover to pre-
recession levels while average asking prices in other parts of the UK have soared, according to a property website.

Properties put up for sale so far this month are being marketed at an average of almost 10 per cent less than their pre-recession price tags in the worst-hit parts of the region.

Meanwhile, asking prices in areas such as London, Cambridgeshire and Surrey have soared in the past six years.

West Yorkshire has the furthest distance to recover, according to the figures from Rightmove, which showed that the current average asking price of £148,226 is down 9.1 per cent on May 2008.

In South Yorkshire, this month’s average price tag of £142,602 is 5.5 per cent less than in May 2008.

The picture in East Yorkshire is even more bleak, with the average seller asking for 8.4 per cent less than they did during the pre-recession peak.

Only North Yorkshire, where the average asking price is £244,776, up by one per cent, has witnessed evidence of a recovery in the six-year period. It was among a small handful of areas which have seen asking prices surpass their pre-crisis peak levels.

“While at a high level the South has outperformed the North, being able to dig underneath that courtesy of the millions of properties advertised since 2001 shows a really varied county versus county performance,” said Rightmove director Miles Shipside.

“The summary of key events that pummelled the housing market is a scary reminder of the journey we have been through, and while GDP is now reported to have recovered to pre-recession levels, the property price picture is still full of geographic ups and downs.”

Central London has the highest average asking price – £1,512,555, an increase of £500,000, or 41.9 per cent, since 2008.

Experts from the National Housing Federation say that while the figures may not be good news for home owners they will boost those struggling to get onto the property ladder.

Regional spokesman Daniel Klemm said: “This shows that Yorkshire, like a lot of other areas of the country, has a dysfunctional housing market.”

The organisation believes asking prices need to fall even further to help address the region’s housing crisis.

Earlier this year, the federation produced its annual Home Truths report, which revealed that there are 16,300 new households in Yorkshire every year – yet only 7,680 new homes are built.

“A rise in house prices is only good if you own your own home,” Mr Klemm added. ”If you’re in your 50s or 60s, you’ve probably made a lot of money from property, but high house prices have disadvantages.

“Even though in most parts of Yorkshire prices aren’t at pre-recession level, I’d argue they are still too high.

“There is a North-South divide in this report because a lot of overseas investors have driven up property prices in London and surrounding areas, but Yorkshire is still an area people want to invest in. It is a great place to live and work. The problem we’ve got is that we’re not building enough homes.”

Ben Jacobs, a director of Stoneacre Properties, which has branches in north and east Leeds, said: “All people see is news articles telling them their houses are going up in value each month. They genuinely believe it and it’s just not the case. I think next year will be even tougher.”