By Martin Williamson, Head of Residential Property, Latimer Hinks Solicitors www.latimerhinks.co.uk
This week, we continue our round-up of property data and opinions gathered from estate agents throughout the North East and North Yorkshire. In the Cleveland area, there are reasons to be positive with figures showing that properties are now on agents books for a much shorter time when compared with figures from six months ago.
All property experts questioned have reported an increase in instructions since the start of the year. House prices have also returned to between 75 and 100% of pre-recessionary levels, they report.
Only six months ago properties would linger on estate agents' books for between three and six months; now there appears to be more fluidity in the market. The majority of the agents surveyed revealed that the average sale time for Band D properties is between six and 12 weeks.
Bernadette Harris Estate Agents in Eston is continuing to experience growth with the average property on its books taking less than 12 weeks to sell. The agents also revealed that there were several property hot spotsincluding Eston, Normanby, Middlesbrough itself and Ormseby. Less popular were Grangetown and South Bank, according to analysis of the properties on its books.
Other property hotspots identified by our property experts included Saltburn, which ties in with the increased national popularity of coastal homes. The allure of the seaside has never been stronger, with increased demand and a limited level of supply seeing prices soar in some of our much loved coastal spots such as more traditional seaside resorts like Saltburn.
There is some reason to speculate positively about the regions property market as a whole. Pension changes announced in last years Budget are due to come into effect this April. The changes will allow savers over 55 greater freedom to take their pensions as a lump sum, with so-called "silver landlords likely to take advantage of the return on their investment offered by buy-to-let properties by buying homes to rent out, pushing up prices.
Chancellor George Osborne also announced in Decembers Autumn Statement that homebuyers purchasing properties worth less than £937,000 will pay less stamp duty cutting £1000 from the cost of buying a North East home and encouraging more buyers into the market.
North East rental yields are as good as any in the UK and as rental returns rather than capital appreciation are key to making money out of property, our region stands to potentially gain the most.
Martin Williamson is Head of Residential Property at Latimer Hinks Solicitors in Darlington. Latimer Hinks has a team of around 40 people serving private and corporate clients. For further information: www.latimerhinks.co.uk or call 01325 341500.
Please note: This article is intended as guidance only and does not constitute advice, financial or otherwise. No responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by Latimer Hinks.