The average house in North Yorkshire has risen in value by almost £95 every week during the 12 months from October 2019 to September 2020, according to the latest research by property buying agency The Search Partnership.
Its figures, which are based on actual sale prices recorded by the Land Registry, show that the average house value in the area increased from £225,000 in October 2019 to £229,500 in September 2020,which equals a rise of £4,500.
While values dipped to £219,000 during the first lockdown between March and June this year, there was a quick recovery. North Yorkshire then saw a significant leap with average sale prices rising by £10,500 between June and August before levelling off in September.
The Search Partnership says the 4.8 per cent increase during this period outperformed the UK average of 4.2 per cent and the 3.3 per cent rise in London property sale prices. Toby Milbank, a director of the Yorkshire-based buying agency, says: “On average, North Yorkshire has fared well despite the dip in prices between April and June, when the impact of Covid-19 was really felt across the whole country.
“In terms of sales volumes, these picked up significantly in July, almost tripling from the April low, thanks to the easing of lockdown and the stamp duty holiday. We have seen this growth trend continue over these last five months, as more buyers put down roots in North Yorkshire.”
The firm, which was founded by Toby and business partner Tom Robinson, also notes that the areas around Bedale, Ripon, Boroughbridge and Harrogate have all remained popular locations for house buyers from both Yorkshire and further afield.
“We have also seen competitive bidding for larger houses in these sought-after locations in at least 75 per cent of sales,” says Toby. “An additional emerging trend shows that instead of buyers moving from towns and cities to villages, many are now moving further afield to more remote and secluded locations, with one stipulation and that is that the wi-fi speed is fast enough to allow home working.”
According to Nationwide, national house prices in the UK have surged at their fastest rate for almost six years, as buyers cash in on the government’s stamp duty holiday and look for a change of lifestyle. The mortgage lender reported that the average cost of a home in the UK rose 6.5 per cent in the year to November, accelerating from the 5.8 per cent annual increase recorded in October.
House prices in North Yorkshire have mirrored this national trend and continued to rise throughout October, November and into December. As for what the future holds for this sought-after area, which includes a host of property hotspots, Toby Milbank is optimistic: “As we approach 2021, we make our predictions for the New Year on what is most likely to effect a change in prices.
“It has widely been assumed that interest rates must go up at some stage. Historically, a rise in interest rates often puts a squeeze on those with larger variable mortgages and makes buyers think twice before committing to what is normally their largest investment. This can put downward pressure on prices.
“Leaving Europe and the impact of the pandemic has meant any interest rate rises seem to have been put on the back burner for now, which is positive news for the housing market. An increase in unemployment can also reduce the numbers of buyers in a market and this is a concern for 2021, as those sectors that were worst hit by Covid-19 must unfortunately make redundancies. There are currently 1.6m people out of work in the UK and the Government’s economic watchdog is predicting this will rise to 2.6m by the middle of 2021.
“Currently, far more people are losing their jobs than are starting new ones and, as the Government’s various job support schemes come to an end, this is a concern for the housing market. However, in North Yorkshire we have seen plenty of evidence of businesses adapting and diversifying and there are jobs to be had but they are in different and emerging sectors.
“The supply of new property here remains relatively low and houses are still selling comparatively quickly despite the time of year. With an effective vaccine and light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel, this gives us optimism that next year will be more ‘normal’.
“A vaccine ending Covid-19 restrictions, the lack of housing supply and the continuation of low interest rates should out balance the issues of unemployment. We predict that 2021 will see modest house price growth of between two and three per cent here in North Yorkshire.”
The Search Partnership is a Yorkshire-based property finding agency. www.thesearchpartnership.co.uk
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