Yorkshire knocks London off property top spot

Yorkshire's natural beauty is helping to boost interest from outside
Yorkshire's natural beauty is helping to boost interest from outside
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The Yorkshire property market has a spring in its step but lack of supply is an issue. Sharon Dale reports

The Yorkshire property market enjoyed a spring bounce, beating London and the South East to take it to the top of the national table.

According to the latest figures from the Land Registry, the county recorded the biggest monthly rise in house prices in April with a 2.7 per cent uplift.

Yorkshire outperformed all other areas of England and Wales, including London which saw a 2.3 per cent increase between March and April. The national average was 0.9 per cent. Wales suffered the largest monthly price decrease with a fall of 1.1 per cent.

However, there are no concerns about prices spiralling out of control in the county.

The annual rise, comparing April this year with the same time last year, stands at 3.1 per cent. Although this leaves Yorkshire just below mid-table nationally, with an average house price of £123,471, it was the North’s star performer, ahead of the North West, which saw a 2.3 per cent annual rise and the North East, which saw price falls of 0.6 per cent.

The average annual increase in England and Wales was 5.1 per cent and London recorded 10.9 per cent, bringing the average property price in the capital to £474,544.

Estate agents across the county agree that most areas of Yorkshire will see average property values increase by about five per cent in 2015, although there are concerns that a lack of supply could push this figure up.

Commenting on the West Yorkshire market, Patrick McCutcheon, of Dacre, Son and Hartley, says the Land Registry figures are not surprising.

“There were times in the three weeks or so prior to the election when I thought we were back in 2000, with an excellent response to most property listings below £800,000. Even the upper sector has started to move, all be it at a more considered pace.

“Most of our offices are reporting that sales have accelerated over the last two months but they are taking longer to exchange due to tighter lending conditions.”

Over in North Yorkshire, Tony Wright, of Carter Jonas, says: “We’ve been busy for the last six months and we have seen a great improvement in the volume of transactions, although pricing sensibly is key. The election result has brought stability and there is a real air of confidence in the market.”

Business is also brisk in the East of the county with lack of supply becoming an issue, according to Jon Myers, of Quick and Clarke.

He adds that the market town of Driffield, previously seen as Beverley’s poor relation, is becoming a hotspot. Hull, which has some of the lowest property prices in Yorkshire, is also buoyant.

“Terraces between £70,000 and £80,000 are selling like hot cakes in Hull. Investors are turning back to property and they realise that Hull is a fantastic city with a lot of potential thanks to jobs coming from Siemens and the fact it will be UK City of Culture in 2017.”

South Yorkshire agent James Mee, of Saxton Mee, is also confident. “The market is very active and in some areas of Sheffield we are seeing multiple offers on houses with some going for between five and ten per cent over the asking price. Our only issue is a shortage of properties.”

Ian Appleyard, a director at Sheffield-based Blundells, agrees: “April and May have been superb months across the board and prices are on the increase.”