By Martin Williamson, Head of Residential Property, Latimer Hinks Solicitors www.latimerhinks.co.uk
In the final instalment of our research into the regions property markets, there is plenty of optimism in the North, which is mirroring the burgeoning national market.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that all parts of the UK experienced growth in terms of house prices, with prices in February 3.6% higher than the previous house price peak in 2008. Despite this continued positivity, the Government has continued to play down talk of a housing bubble.
According to our own research among property experts in the Hambleton area, the final area of our study, there is plenty of optimism in the regional market following an extended period of improved economic activity. The majority of estate agents surveyed have seen the house prices on their books return to within 75 to 100% of their value compared to before the recession. With the exception of one, all had reported an increase in the number of instructions received, which highlights the fact that people are feeling more confident.
The ONS figures also showed that the number of first-time buyers had increased by 10.5% in the year to February compared to an 8.6% rise for everyone else. With the extension of Help to Buy the equity loan offer to 2020, this should help ease the pressure of rising house prices, and provide added assistance to get people onto the property ladder.
All of the estate agents reported that the sale of the average Band D property takes between three and six months from advertising to completion of the sale, which is a significant improvement from recessionary times. Areas such as Romanby, Bedale and Thirsk were identified as property hotspots, while properties in Ripon and Leeming Bar were experiencing less activity.
The growing housing market does not look like it will slow down anytime soon, according to research commissioned by Zoopla. 95% of homeowners believe that house prices will rise over the next six months, and that they will rise at a rate of 8.8% from now until September.
We are finally starting to see the confidence in the housing market filter down from London to other regions, and together with an increase in supply and demand, this bodes well for the future.
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. In addition, 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 the firm.
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.
MEDIA CONTACT: Marie Carter on 01325 363 436.
Notes to editors:
Latimer Hinks solicitors, based in Darlington, has a team of around 40 people serving private and corporate clients.
Their range of expertise and services covers legal issues surrounding commercial, residential and agricultural property, wills and lasting powers of attorney, trusts, probate, long-term care, tax planning, commercial law, alternative and renewable energy, property and disputes, business rescue, employment, and land-owning.