A new online tool can take the temperature of local property markets. Sharon Dale looks at the top hotspots and cold spots.
Yorkshire’s top ten property hotspots and cold spots have been pinpointed by a new online tool that takes the temperature of the housing market by postcode area.
PropCast, the UK’s first house selling weather forecast, analyses buyer demand and reveals that Bradford appears to be the coldest area, while Sheffield is definitely red hot.
Bradford has four locations in the top 10 coldest postcodes. They include the city centre, the Heaton and Frizinghall area, Great Horton and the Laisterdyke and Thornbury areas. Keighley, also a BD postcode, is the fifth coldest spot.
Hull also features with HU1, the city centre, at number two and HU2, which covers Wincolmlee, at number seven. The others three Yorkshire cold spots are DN1 – Doncaster city centre – and YO62, which covers sought-after Helmsley, Ampleforth, Kirkbymoorside and Hovingham, along with YO51 covering Boroughbridge and surrounding villages.
Steven Potts, Bradford area director of Dacre, Son and Hartley estate agents, believes that the Bradford figures may have been skewed due to the high number of off-market transactions within Asian communities in some BD postcode areas.
“There tends to be a lot of private transactions between family and friends in those areas, which won’t be reflected in figures monitoring how many properties there are on the market. So they might not be cold spots at all,” he says.
Edward Hartshorne, head of Blenkin and Co, adds that Y062 and YO51 are surprise cold spots as both are still very popular with buyers.
With seven postcodes in the top 10 hottest areas, the Sheffield market is on fire. S10, which includes Ranmoor, Fulwood and Crookes, is at number one, with S7, which includes Nether Edge and Abbeydale, and S8, Beauchief, Norton and Woodseats, at second and third respectively. S6 Hillsborough, S20 Mosborough, S74 Hoyland and S11 Sharrow, Brincliffe and Whirlow also feature in the top spots.
The three remaining hotspots in the top 10 are LS4, which is Burley and Kirkstall Hill on the fringe of Leeds city centre, and two York areas popular with buyers – YO24 Acomb and Dringhouses, and YO31 York, Heworth and Huntington.
Stuart Goff, of Hunters estate agents, says he isn’t surprised that Sheffield dominates the Yorkshire hotspot table: “Average house prices in Sheffield are low considering it is a well-connected big city with lots of amenities. It’s also close to open countryside with quality accommodation and plenty of big employers.
“That’s why we have the biggest student retention rates in Britain. Students stay on after graduating because it’s a great city. It’s very friendly and they can afford to buy here. We still sell to huge number of first-time buyers and we have been really busy. July could be the best month we have had for two or three years.”
He says S10 and S11 are well-known hotspots thanks to their south west location in the desirable Hallam ward, which is one of the richest constituencies in the country. He believes that while S7 is not generally popular thanks to “poorer quality terraced housing near the city centre”, the part that fringes the Hallam ward could have pushed it into the hotspot top 10.
He adds that Mosborough, which is home to the Crystal Peaks shopping centre, has grown in popularity thanks to a large number of new-builds and the Supertram, which gives commuters a quicker link to Sheffield city centre.
Hillsborough, north of the city, is also on the Supertram route and the travel time into the centre of Sheffield is 10 minutes.
“There are no big council estates there. It’s mainly privately-owned homes with properties starting at about £110,000, so it is popular and affordable,” says Stuart.
Woodseats is Hunters busiest office in Sheffield. It is on the south side of the city and its terraced houses, which start from £120,000, are popular with buyers who want easy access to the Derbyshire countryside and to the city centre. The postcodes in the top ten hotspots are all sellers’ markets, while those in the coldest spots are buyers’ markets, according to PropCast The property postcode “temperature gauge” was set up by Gavin Bragz to help homeowners check how easy or difficult it will be to sell their property. His aim is to help vendors set a realistic price using heat ratings ranging from very hot, hot, cold or very cold.
These are determined by the number of properties on the market in a postcode and the percentage of these that are under offer or sold subject to contract.
A professional house trader, Gavin buys and sells second-hand part-exchanged properties on behalf of house builders. His commission relies on selling the exchanged homes quickly.
He hopes that PropCast will inject some realism into the market and will quell over-ambitious homeowners and those estate agents who over value to win business.
“The figures will allow people to identify true local market conditions and to adopt the most effective selling strategy to ensure they sell for a better price, faster and with less stress,” says Gavin.
PropCast can be found in TheAdvisory, the UK’s oldest independent advice and support resource for property investors.
Gavin adds: “Those with homes in the cold spots need to be aware that there is an excess of stock on the market, meaning buyers have the upper hand. Presenting your home in tip-top condition coupled with competitive pricing is the key to selling quickly in these market conditions. Try to resist the urge to ‘test the market’ as all it’s likely to do is help make other sellers’ homes look better value for money.
“Meanwhile, those in hotspots are in the best position to sell their home as the balance of power is skewed in their favour. This is because there are more buyers than homes for sale. Properties sell quicker and buyers in these areas need to be organised and realistic. They need to be prepared to spring into action the moment a property they like hits the market, be pre-approved for a mortgage before they make an offer, be prepared to negotiate and quickly make their best offer.”
*PropCast can be found on TheAdvisory website, www.theadvisory.co.uk. Users input their postcode and PropCast reports on market conditions, shows historic trend data and displays heat maps.
*Make sure the price is right: Property consultant Alex Goldstein says: “Realistic pricing of your home is key. Overpitch the price and you risk putting buyers off instantly. Underpitch and you will receive multiple low offers as buyers think you are desperate to sell.
“An estate agent is there to guide you on tactics. Ensure you judge an agent on more than price alone and never but never instruct an agent just because they quoted the highest guide price for your property. Any idiot can do that.”