Property predictions and why the Bradford postcode area has seen the UK's highest demand for homes

A forecast and why the Bradford postcode area has seen the UK's highest demand for homes

The Bradford postcode district, which includes homebuyer hotspots such as Skipton, Saltaire and Bingley, has seen the UK's highest demand for property, which is 98 per cent above the five-year average, according to Zoopla.

While BD postcode areas such as Skipton and parts of the Dales, including Settle and Kettlewell, have long been high price hotspots, other parts of the Bradford District have become increasingly popular as home buyers look to buy in small towns and villages that offer value for money and/or have access to good transport links.

Gary Horgan, director of Martin and Co. sales and lettings agents in Keighley and Saltaire, says those locations, along with Apperley Bridge, Baildon and Shipley, which all have a railway station, have become more sought-after over the past two years. The average terraced house in Keighley costs £142,698, semi-detached properties sell for an average of £193,874, with detached properties fetching £310,349.

Haworth in the BD district is increasingly popular with buyers

He says: "We get a lot more first-time buyers moving to the centre of Keighley because properties there are reasonably priced, while other buyers want semi-rural properties in surrounding villages. We have been inundated with buyers and tenants wanting to move to Haworth and nearby Oakworth and, as for Saltaire, within a week of putting a house on the market there we have a number of full price offers.

He adds: "Another factor bringing buyers into various BD postcode areas is that property in Leeds has become unaffordable."

Jonathan Raynor, head of Dacre, Son & Hartley's Baildon office, says: "Baildon has always been desirable because it has a railway station and it sits on the edge of the moors but most buyers were people moving within this area. Now we are seeing buyers from the south of England because they think Baildon offers good value for money."

Terraced properties in Baildon sell for an average of £184,058, semi-detached homes are £250,502 with detached properties fetching £401,194.

House price growth is up 8.9 per cent in Yorkshire and Humber, 9.3 per cent in Leeds and 8 per cent in Sheffield. Continued desire to move as a result of the pandemic and flexible working is offsetting the current rise in cost of living and higher mortgage rates and is supporting sales in the short term.

Demand for homes has slowed over 2022 but remains 25 per cent above average over the last five years and on a par with this time last year. Average UK house prices are up 8.3 per cent year-on-year, a fall from a 9.6 per cent high in March 2022, yet remain above the five year average of 4.3 per cent.

Zopla say that housing market remains resilient with some signs of a slowdown and predicts that levels of housing market growth will return in line with the longer run average by the end of the year and will move lower in 2023.

Fears of a market crash and double digit price falls are unwarranted, say Zoopla, where insights suggest there is no sign of a significant drop off in buyer interest in response to higher mortgage rates and cost of living pressures.

A stronger than expected desire for households to move means that overall, housing sales are expected to reach 1.3m, which is 100,000 more than was originally forecast at the beginning of the year. This also means the pace of house price growth is slowing less quickly than expected and by the end of the year, prices are expected to have risen five per cent, meaning the average value of a home will reach nearly £260,000 by December 2022.

Zoopla says that the desire to move home is still being fuelled by pandemic purchases with buyers continuing to seek homes that afford a work-life balance and the desire to move currently outweighs economic pressures faced by prospective buyers.

Nearly 2.5 years on, post-pandemic ripples are still being felt as a rapid increase in working from home supports a continued desire to move home. A recent consumer survey by Zoopla found a strong link between expectations of working from home and strength of desire to move. Those working from home more are five times more likely to move than those who don’t see any changes in their working patterns.

In addition, up to half a million older people have left the labour market over the pandemic with retirement a major trigger for moving home. In some instances, the cost of living pressures may be boosting the desire to relocate to save on running costs and find better value for money, in turn supporting levels of demand and market activity.

Whilst price growth rates are set to drop, Richard Donnell, Executive Director of Research at Zoopla, is advising would-be buyers and sellers not to panic and says: "The ongoing impact of the pandemic continues to support a desire to move amongst home buyers. This is a big reason why the market is not slowing as fast as some might expect and demand remains for sensibly priced homes, especially in more affordable areas.

“The housing market is not immune from higher mortgage rates which we are starting to see increase quickly. Buyer interest is expected to slow over the coming months as people tighten their belts and spend with more caution which will see price growth weaken further. Whilst we don’t expect current trends to lead to a marked drop in house prices next year, buyers will become more wary and it is important sellers are realistic when pricing their homes to sell”.

As for the future, Zoopla says the demand for homes is expected to weaken further into next year as mortgage rates increase with growth rates predicted to level out at five per cent at the end of 2022. However significant price falls are not expected as although the housing market is not immune, it is in much better shape to weather the economic headwinds than in previous cycles.

London remains the UK’s most unaffordable housing market where house prices are 11.6 times average earnings and prices are rising at the slowest rate of four per cent. Zoopla’s data shows demand for homes is weakest in markets that have been experiencing some of the highest price increases in areas like the South West and Wales, while demand remains strong in more affordable markets and cities outside the South East.