The housing market remains busy. Compared to the last ‘normal’ market of 2019, buyer enquiries are up 31% and mortgage approvals and sales are up by 12% and 11% respectively. However, there are half as many properties available to buy and stock levels are down 55% (Rightmove, HMRC, Bank of England). The prolonged mismatch between demand and supply continues to support prices. On average, properties are selling subject to contract in just 31 days, the quickest time ever recorded. With competition for properties remaining high, Rightmove report that asking prices have hit their fourth consecutive record high in as many months.
Over 433,000 homes in the UK changed hands in the first four months of 2022, making this the third busiest start to a year since 2007. Last year was an exceptional year due to Covid-19 and 2016 saw a surge prior to the introduction of the 3% additional homes surcharge. Except for last year, April 2022 has been the busiest since 2007 (Dataloft, HMRC). More than one in every 25 properties has changed hands across the North East, and Yorkshire and the Humber in the past year. Harrogate and Selby are currently the most active housing markets in the region.
A perfect storm
Economic headwinds are gaining momentum. Expectations of global and UK economic growth have been pared back, while consumer confidence has plummeted to its lowest level since records began in 1974. Optimism is weaker than during the global financial crisis, Brexit or Covid-19 (GfK). The Covid recovery, war in Ukraine and rising energy and food prices, alongside a strong labour market and low unemployment, have created a perfect storm. Inflation is pushing a 40-year high. Thanks to fixed-rate mortgages, many households are cushioned from the impact of the latest base rate rise, but day-to-day budgets are increasingly feeling the squeeze.
Double-digit property price growth remains evident in localities in the North East, and Yorkshire and the Humber, although annual price growth has moderated slightly compared to a year ago (ONS, UK HPI). Across the region there is less than two months of available stock left to sell, down by almost half on the historical norm.
Slow gear change
For many, the question is when, not if, the property market will start to moderate. However, any gear change is liable to be slow and steady, and not an emergency brake as was the case in the global financial crisis of 2008. Forecasters still anticipate positive price growth over the course of the year. Market fundamentals remain strong. A strong desire to move remains in the minds of many and there is a shortage of properties, compounded by data indicating that new home completions remain below pre-Covid levels and short of the government’s 300,000 homes target.
Properties for sale in the North East Region
Richmond, North Yorkshire, 2 bedrooms
Moorlands Cottage is a beautiful cottage situated in the sought after Swaledale village of Reeth. The Cottage once rose to fame by featuring on an episode of All Creatures Great and Small! Reeth is a traditional Dales village with a protected village green, an excellent range of shops. The cottage offers a wealth of character, with exposed beamed ceilings and floorboards. The property benefits from oil central heating and double glazed windows throughout.
Outlane, West Yorkshire, 2 bedrooms
Enjoying a stunning and idyllic location overlooking the golf course, this semi-detached cottage is surrounded by open countryside with access to delightful walks and enjoys fabulous panoramic views. The cottage has been lovingly updated by the current owner to blend original features with contemporary styling and décor throughout using quality fixtures and fittings with attention to detail. The property stands in a large plot with beautifully landscaped gardens to two aspects, incorporating sheltered seating areas, mature rockeries, level lawns, woodland and a small paddock. In addition there is a double garage and generous parking.
Chathill, Northumberland, 4 bedrooms
Watermill House is a fabulous stone barn conversion with over 2,700 sq. ft. of accommodation. The property offers bright and spacious rooms throughout with an abundance of charm and enjoys attractive features including log burning stove, wooden beams and exposed stone arch. The front door opens into a warm and welcoming reception hall with vaulted ceiling and wooden beams.
As property prices and demand continue to rise, sell your property with experts in the property industry this spring. Contact your local Guild Member today.