Two Yorkshire cities see huge increase in demand for housing as city-centre living stages comeback

City-centre living is staging a comeback, with buyer demand for flats increasing by 39% since January, according to Rightmove.

York, Norwich, Sheffield, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff and Manchester are among the cities that have experienced buyer demand in their centres increasing since the start of 2021, the property website said.

It added that while larger family homes have tended to be the strongest performers in the housing market over the past year, the focus is now shifting to flats.

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Buyer demand is measured by the number of people contacting estate agents to request more details about a property for sale on Rightmove.The easing of coronavirus restrictions and the recent introduction of the Government-backed 5 per cent deposit mortgage guarantee scheme are said to be helping to boost demand.

York has seen a 76 per cent increase in buyer demand in the first four months of 2021

A Rightmove survey of more than 1,000 first-time buyers found nearly one in five (17 per cent) are planning to use the mortgage guarantee scheme or are already using it.

The study also indicated that while the desire to move to a quieter location has been driving parts of the housing market over the past year, this is not as appealing to first-time buyers.

While more than a quarter (28 per cent) of existing home owners planning to move in the next 12 months cited a move to the countryside or coast as their motivation, only 10% of first-time buyers were considering doing this.

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“People starting to venture in to their local high streets and once again experiencing the buzz of their city centres, along with greater mortgage availability for first-time buyers, means city centres are staging a much-needed comeback in the market.

“Right now some buyers are able to grab a relative city bargain compared to the heady price growth outside cities, but these early signs of demand could be the start of city prices rising again.”

Here are the increases in buyer demand by property type between January and April 2021, according to Rightmove:

– Flat, 39 per cent

– Bungalow, 30 per cent

– Detached house, 26 per cent

– Terraced house, 24 per cent

– Semi-detached house, 23 per cent

And here are city centres that have seen big increases in buyer demand between January and April 2021, with the percentage increase:

– York, 76 per cent

– Norwich, 62 per cent

– Sheffield, 57 per cent

– Southampton, 55 per cent

– Leicester, 53 per cent

– Newcastle, 51 per cent

– Nottingham, 39 per cent

– Leeds, 39 per cent

– Birmingham, 39 per cent

– Inner London, 30 per cent

– Oxford, 28 per cent

– Glasgow, 28 per cent

– Liverpool, 28 per cent