Blackpool is the UK’s hottest property market as North-South house price divide narrows

Published by Stephen Little on 15 November 2018.
Last updated on 15 November 2018

Despite the current downturn in the UK housing market, property sales are soaring in the northern towns of Blackpool, Lancaster and Durham.

New figures from online estate agent Housesimple show that the North-South divide has turned on its head, with seven out of the top ten towns for growth in property sales in the north of England.

By contrast, nine of the ten towns that saw the biggest drop in sales were in the south of England.

Even though average property prices in Blackpool are some of the lowest in the UK, the seaside resort is currently one of the UK’s hottest property markets.

Analysis of Land Registry data by Housesimple found that the number of houses sold in Blackpool jumped by 17% between April and June compared to the first three months of the year, higher than any other town or city in the UK.

Lancaster (16.6%) and Durham (15.4%) also recorded strong levels of growth.

The average UK house price is currently £228,000, which is 43% higher than the average house price in the North West at £159,000, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Housesimple says that buyers are attracted by affordable house prices and a booming jobs market.

Sam Mitchell, chief executive Housesimple.com, says: “Properties, particularly family homes, are still affordable in the north of England and with thriving local economies attracting workers to the region, stock is being snapped up in major cities such as Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds.”

 

The ten UK towns and cities with the biggest increase in the number of properties sold between Q2 and Q1 2018

Town/City

Region

% increase in properties sold Q2 Vs Q1 2018

Blackpool

North

17.0%

Lancaster

North

16.6%

Durham

North

15.4%

Swindon

South

11.8%

Hartlepool

North

8.9%

Leicester

Midlands

8.8%

Middlesbrough

North

7.4%

Warrington

North

7.2%

Gloucester

South

7.2%

Newcastle

North

7.2%

 

In recent years, house prices have soared in London and the South East, putting them out of reach for many people, especially those looking to get on the property ladder.

London house prices have risen by 72% over the past ten years, well ahead of any other region. The average home buyer with a mortgage now pays just under £429,000 and has a household income of almost £76,000 – 58% higher than the UK average.

Even with borrowing at over four times that income, these households still need a deposit of £123,000.

House price growth falls

UK house price growth fell to its lowest level in more than five years last month as the squeeze on household budgets and uncertain economic outlook surrounding Brexit continue to affect demand.

According to Nationwide, annual house price growth in October slowed to 1.6%, down from 2% in September – the lowest since May 2013.

The housing market continues to struggle to gain momentum. Data from the Bank of England shows mortgage approvals for house purchases fell to 65,269 in September from 66,101 in August.

Property sales have fallen significantly over the decade since the financial crash, with 1.2 million transactions in the 12 months to September, 30% lower than the levels seen in the same period in 2007.

Estate agent Savills expects the North-South house price divide to narrow over the next five years, with the Midlands, the North West and Scotland expected to see the strongest price increases.

House prices in London and the South East are only expected to rise by 4.5% and 9.3%, respectively.

By contrast, house prices the rest of the country are predicted to see double digit growth.

Prices are predicted to go up the most in the North West by 21.6%.

Other areas forecast to have high growth include Yorkshire and Humberside (20.5%), the East Midlands (19.3%), the West Midlands (19.3%) and the North East (17.6%).

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