Barnsley tops house price growth table

Land Registry data reveals house price performance in Yorkshire towns and cities with Barnsley on top. Sharon Dale reports

Analysis of the latest Land Registry data shows that the Barnsley and Scarborough districts had the highest house price increases in Yorkshire.

Values rose by 7.4 per cent in Barnsley over the year from August 2017 to August 2018 bringing the average house price to £125,659. The area is one of the cheapest places to buy a home in Yorkshire beaten only by Hull and Doncaster for affordability.

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Prices in the Scarborough local authority area, which includes Whitby, increased by 5.5 per cent over the same period bringing house prices there to an average of £165,863.

The national average annual price increase in the UK was 3.2 per cent. Yorkshire outperformed the average with a 3.7 per cent year-on-year gain while the East Midlands recorded the highest growth with 6.5 per cent. There were no price falls in the region, though Craven, which includes sought-after Skipton and parts of the Dales, recorded the lowest growth with a 0.2 per cent rise.

Barnsley's strong performance comes as no surprise to estate agent Simon Blyth who has had an office there for 25 years.

“Barnsley is a great place and has some fantastic villages and stunning countryside.

“It offers very good value for money but the biggest selling point is the commutability. You have quick access to the A1 and M1 and to Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield.

“We are definitely getting more buyers from outside Barnsley for that reason but there is still an issue in that some people have preconceived ideas and think of Barnsley how it used to be, which is unfair.

“The slag heaps have gone, the town centre looks good and as ever, Barnsley people are incredibly friendly and welcoming.”

Phil Fletcher of CPH estate agency in Scarborough puts the area's annual 5.5 per cent price growth down to a combination of good value, regeneration in Scarborough and a new industry in the form of the Sirius Minerals potash mine being constructed near Whitby.

While most buyers are from Yorkshire, there is a lot of new interest from London.

“We analysed the hits on our website and it showed that the highest number of views came from Scarborough, second highest was York but London was third, which was a surprise but I think Sirius has put us on the map. It is bringing more and better paid jobs and when it starts full production in three years time that could mean more house price growth.”

The most expensive place to buy a home in Yorkshire is Harrogate, where the average dwelling now costs £290,082. The cheapest is Hull where the average home is £112,869.

The most expensive English area to live in was Kensington and Chelsea, where the cost of an average house was £1.3 million in August. The cheapest area was Burnley, where an average home is £86,000.

The Land Registry data for England revealed that semi-detached houses showed the strongest growth, up an average of 4.6 per cent between August 2017 and August 2018. Detached homes showed a 3.5 per cent growth and terraced homes rose by three per cent. The price of flats and maisonettes remained static, though this is skewed by a fall in London values as about 30 per cent of England's flats and maisonette transactions are in the capital.

Strutt and Parker's Housing Futures shows that detached houses have seen a drop in popularity over the past five years, down from 83 per cent to 49 per cent, with semi-detached homes becoming the desired housing option for an increasing number of buyers.

The volume of sales in England has fallen year-on-year. The latest Land Registry figures available are for June 2018 when there were 63,673 sales while in the same month last year there were 84,327, a fall of 24.5 per cent.

In Yorkshire, Selby saw the biggest drop with a fall of 39.3 per cent with Ryedale a close second with a 35.5 per cent decrease. These figures can reflect an area's desirability with homeowners happy to stay put.

Prices for new-builds are substantially higher than for second-hand homes. The Land Registry reports that the cost of the average new home in Yorkshire increased 6.9 per cent to £205,535 between June 2017 and June 2018 while an existing home rose by 3.1 per cent to £158,083.

*Here are the Yorkshire house prices rises and falls over the year from August 2017 and August 2018: Barnsley 7.4 per cent; Bradford 2.1 per cent ; Calderdale 1.6 per cent; Hull 3.9 per cent; Craven 0.2 per cent; Doncaster one per cent; East Riding 2.5 per cent; Hambleton two per cent; Harrogate 4.7 per cent; Kirklees 5.2 per cent; Leeds 4.5 per cent; North Yorkshire 3.9 per cent; Richmondshire 5.4 per cent; Rotherham 5.4 per cent; Ryedale 5.3 per cent; Scarborough 5.5 per cent; Selby 4.4 per cent; Sheffield 3.2 per cent; Wakefield two per cent; York 1.3 per cent.