Despite London and the South East leading the way in the property market recovery, the entire country including the North East - is benefiting from an increase in housing activity.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that house prices throughout the UK continued to accelerate with an increase of 6.8% in January, compared to the same time last year. Excluding London and the South East, prices were up 3.8% nationally in the year to the end of January, giving a further indication that the housing market is firmly on the road to recovery.
Our continued research into the regions estate agents reflects this positivity, especially throughout the Cleveland area.
All estate agents polled, except one, have seen an increase in instructions over the past 12 months, with the majority of their property prices back to pre-financial crisis levels. Only the two estate agents revealed that prices had returned to 75-100% of 2008 levels when valuations were at their peak - while the remainder had seen their prices approach that level.
The times when properties would linger on estate agents books seem to be a thing of the past in Cleveland. The majority of agents revealed that the time from advertising to the sale of the average Band D property, was between 12 and 24 weeks. Areas such as Yarm, Ingleby Barwick and Eaglescliffe were identified as the property hotspots from the research.
Holts, the Yarm-based estate agent, reported that it had experienced much positivity in the last 12 months, after seeing the number of instructions continuing to grow and the average Band D property on its books taking less than 12 weeks to sell.
Saltburns Grimwood Estates shared this optimism, with the firm receiving similar levels of instructions, adding that the "housing market was picking up and that properties that were sticking "tended to be the ones that are overpriced.
The Governments Help to Buy scheme has led to more people getting onto the property ladder with 47,550 mortgage approvals on houses in January, and £11.5bn of gross mortgage borrowing in February, according to the British Bankers Association (BBA).
With an improving economy and successful measures in place, this all bodes well for the burgeoning housing market.
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.ukor call 01325 341500.