We look north, south, east and west for a spring update on Yorkshire property prices and market activity. Sharon Dale reports.
Ed Stoyle, Partner at Carter Jonas, York, says: “The low to middle end of the market is quite lively, whereas the top end has slowed, predominantly because of a reduction in stock levels.
“Carter Jonas had a record year in North Yorkshire last year, meaning that we cleared a lot of stock and began 2018 from a low base. At the same time, we have experienced a seasonal bias in which the inclement weather deterred many vendors from bringing their property to market until spring. This has created a supply and demand imbalance.
“The inclination to wait until April or May to launch a property, which is often motivated by a sense that the gardens won’t look well until then, means that vendors miss two months of the year when they could be marketing their home to those who need to move. Bringing a property to market ahead of the spring rush is often an entrepreneurial move that is handsomely rewarded.
“It’s well documented that house prices across North Yorkshire have performed well over the past decade, but we are now seeing evidence of some larger properties having doubled in value in that period, which is pricing them out of the market for many. Unfortunately, when stock levels are limited, some agents over-inflate guide prices. This, in turn, compounds vendor greed at a time when the market is experiencing an inevitable price adjustment, which has the potential of putting vendors and buyers at loggerheads.
“We would like to see stock levels increase but there is an overriding sentiment among many prospective vendors to stay put and improve their house instead.
“This has created an over-arching supply and demand imbalance, which is expected to sustain prices for the foreseeable future.
“As for a spring bounce, my sense is that there is an innate impulse to nest in the spring months, which attracts more buyers. Spring is also the season in which many parents start looking to move ahead of the new school year in September.
“Our forecast for the rest of the year is that the volume of transactions should remain steady and prices could experience a nominal rise, perhaps in the region of two per cent, provided they aren’t already over-inflated. Up-and-coming areas could see increases of up to five per cent.
“There has been talk of another interest rate rise, which might startle the market in the first instance, but should settle relatively quickly. We expect areas of new development or brownfield sites experiencing regeneration to be the hotspots of 2018. Our ageing population is increasingly looking for the convenience of new-build, all that is missing is their availability.”
Dan Butcher, Sales Manager at Hunters, Sheffield, says: “The first quarter of the year has been excellent. We have seen a lot more vendor activity than we expected, with buyers reacting well. The majority of mid-range houses are selling within a matter of weeks and above asking prices. Just last week we sold a mid-terrace three-bedroom house within three days of coming to the market.
“Lack of stock is the biggest issue as properties are selling particularly fast. This sees an increase in competition for the houses that are in high demand. Buyers are back due to favourable mortgage rates and the fact that a large number of students now decide to stay in Sheffield after graduation.
“Another trend we have noticed is that vendors are putting their homes up for sale earlier in the year, well before the traditional spring bounce. The market here was already gaining ground just after the new year.
“We expect to see a busy market until June and predict that late August and September will be busier with prices set to increase steadily.”
Richard Welpton, a director of Quick and Clarke, says: “The first part of the year has seen a continuation of last year’s trend. There are still a good number of buyers but too few sellers. This is pushing prices up and we are seeing continued price inflation in virtually every segment.
“My experience on valuation is that many sellers are sitting on their hands until they see something they like, but often it is then too late for them and the houses they want are selling to buyers who are in a better position.
“Lack of stock is a big problem as it creates a negative cycle in terms of activity. Would-be buyers cannot find a suitable house and so don’t list theirs.
“However, the spring bounce is certainly starting here in East Yorkshire. We have had an increase in listings and sales. I think this year will be very similar to last and house prices in our area should see a steady increase, slowing towards the second half of the year when interest rates are set to rise.
“Beverley and the neighbouring villages are seeing strong interest. Family houses, especially those in good school catchments are particularly strong, as are bungalows.”
Mark Manning, managing director of Manning Stainton estate agents, says: “The volume of homes coming to market is almost exactly the same as one year ago but sales volumes are a little weaker. That is because the price of property continues to be pushed that little higher and, in some cases, simply too high.
“New buyer registrations over the first three months of this year showed an increase and, perhaps more interestingly, we have continued to see a surge in the number of first-time-buyers.
“We have continued to see growth in the average house price with a 5.4 per cent rise against the same period a year ago with significant growth in the middle market – family homes near good schools remain in short supply.
“Rightmove’s Asking Price index confirms a similar trend with a sizeable 1.5 per cent growth in price of property coming to market this month.
“Looking ahead, it has to be much of the same. Demand is simply too strong for it not to be. There is no greater proof of this than at our most recent auction where every lot from our Leeds office sold. That success rate gives some flavour of how strong that demand is across the market.
“Mortgage money remains available, we can’t see any great change in the political landscape for now, so the property market looks to be in good shape.
“In terms of hotspots, we forecast the growth of Meanwood in Leeds and the change in Headingley. That has come to fruition. My next target area has to be Crossgates and out towards Garforth in Leeds. The outer ring road is changing to provide greater connectivity and land is either being built on or has been optioned off for development.”