Yorkshire property market update and why Wakefield is faring better than most

The latest Office for National Statistics data, which covers December 2023, shows that the average house price in the UK dropped by 2.1 per cent year on year and by 0.2 per cent in that month.

In Yorkshire, Wakefield district topped the Yorkshire chart for house price growth with a year on year rise of 2.7 per cent bringing the average house price in the area to £203,331.

Calderdale saw the second greatest increase with 1.7 per cent growth between December 2023 and December 2024, while the East Riding was not far behind with a 1.4 per cent rise.

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Average sold values also edged up by 0.3 per cent in Kirklees and by 0.6 per cent in Rotherham. (Yorkshire Post: Sign up for our free newsletters now)

Wakefield Westgate railway station, Wakefield.Wakefield Westgate railway station, Wakefield.
Wakefield Westgate railway station, Wakefield.

The greatest falls were in York, where prices fell by 4.9 per cent and Sheffield where they slipped by 4.4 per cent year on year. For more detail see the end of this article.

Claire Kendall of Richard Kendall estate agents in Wakefield says: “I’m pleased to say we’ve hit the ground running since we came back after the Christmas and New Year break. The number of valuations booked are impressive and new instructions and sales are up.

“We are also finding that more sellers are prepared to negotiate from their asking prices now compared to 12 months ago.”

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Wakefield is known for engendering loyalty with those born and bred in the area but more recently it has seen an influx of newcomers from Leeds thanks to house prices that are reasonable in comparison to those in the big city.

Clare Kendall adds: “We are seeing a lot of people who have moved away from Wakefield for work coming back to live here in retirement.”

Wakefield also boasts good schools and superb road and rail links with easy access to the M1, M62 and to countryside.

Train journeys to and from Leeds take just less than 20 minutes from Wakefield’s central station.

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Meanwhile Home.co.uk’s February asking price index shows that asking prices have risen by 0.2 per cent since last month but are down 0.1 per cent year on year.

The North West remains the regional property leader in terms of growth with a year-on-year gain of 3.9 per cent. Yorkshire posted a 1.4 per cent growth over the same period while the North East saw 2.4 per cent annual increase.

The East Midlands is the worst performer after values there fell by 2.1 per cent year on year.

For those concerned that their homes have diminished in value, then statistics covering a five year period should bring solace. They reveal considerable price growth during that time despite recent slippage.

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In Yorkshire prices rose by 25 per cent between February 2019 and February 2024 and was the third highest performer in England and Wales while Wales showed 28 per cent growth over the same period with the North West top of the table with an increase of just over 30 per cent.

Greater London had the lowest growth in values with just under five per cent over the five years.

The typical time on the market for properties waiting for a sold sign is now112 days.

Home.co.uk say: “2023 was a difficult and worrisome year for the property market and consequently many potential buyers stayed away, choosing to wait and see. There is reason, therefore, to believe that at least some of this pent-up demand will be unleashed on the market this year. We expect large reductions in marketing times in March and April.”

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Mortgage rates do not look like they will come down significantly in the near future and asking rents are 3.9 per cent higher than this time last year, which means tenants still face a struggle.

Over at Rightmove, the February house price index tells a slightly different story. It calculates that values in Yorkshire and London increased most with a 2.8 per cent monthly rise while the year on year growth in Yorkshire was 1.1 per cent.

The North West saw a 1.3 per cent monthly rise and a year on year increase of 2.9 per cent and the North East registered a monthly and annual growth of 2.7 per cent.

The property portal adds that the market appears to be operating at two speeds.

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Some agents report that properties that are accurately and competitively priced are being snapped up by budget-conscious buyers who are keen to make 2024 their year to move, having paused during the uncertainty of 2023.

However, properties that are overpriced will immediately stand out against more competitively priced neighbours and are being left on the shelf by price-sensitive buyers.

As the Budget approaches, Rightmove’s data indicates that the first-time-buyer sector is most in need of government support, with buyer activity levels and sales in this sector the least improved compared to last year.