‘Consumer confidence’ boost for Yorkshire’s property market

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ESTATE agents in Yorkshire have welcomed national news that house sellers nationally are achieving around 96 per cent of their asking price - the highest proportion seen in a decade.

Property analyst Hometrack has found that, of all the regions, Yorkshire has seen the highest percentage rise in sales agreed in March compared with February.

This region also showed a seven per cent rise in the number of properties listed for sale, the highest of any region.

Sellers in Yorkshire are getting 95.5 per cent of their asking price, according to Hometrack.

In London, sellers are getting around 99.3 per cent of their asking price and across every region the figure is above 93 per cent, pointing to further price rises, the report for the month of March said.

Across England and Wales, the length of time properties are typically spending on the market before being snapped up has dropped to just under eight weeks for the first time since 2007, while homes in London are taking just over two and a half weeks on average to sell.

The average time taken to sell in Yorkshire is just under 10 weeks, which is the second longest time after the North East.

Yorkshire estate agents are reporting positive trends across the market.

Ilkley-based Patrick McCutcheon, head of residential at Dacre, Son & Hartley, said: “For the first time in a long time one can recognise positive reported national trends in the core Yorkshire residential market.”

He said increasing consumer confidence, along with house renters looking to buy, were helping to boost the property market.

“In the £300,000 to £500,000 property bracket, we are seeing a significant amount of activity. New sellers are coming onto the market...the majority of vendors are being sensible with prices.”

Paul Keighley, residential partner with Bramleys in Huddersfield, said: “Prices locally are not really moving at the moment. The properties that are selling are achieving close to asking prices because they are on the market at the correct figures.

“Those vendors whose houses are not selling need to take notice and reduce their price accordingly.”

Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, said that while there has been much talk of the impact of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme to help people with low mortgage deposits, overall sales supported by Help to Buy are “relatively small”.

He said: “The real driver of higher house prices is record low mortgage rates and strong demand from first-time buyers and investors who have no property to sell, which is compounding scarcity.

Hometrack said the scale of the increases in the coming months will depend on the willingness of existing home owners and investors to bid up the price of housing.

Toughened mortgage rules are set to come into force next month which will mean lenders have to make sure that people can not only afford their mortgage repayments now, but also when interest rates rise.

Mr Donnell said: “The gap between supply and demand has been extended for the last five months and points to further price rises in the months ahead.”