The pandemic forced people to retreat back into their homes and their space, naturally, we’re seeing the effects from this as people have taken stock of their space. They’re making some big decisions in terms of what they need and want from a home and they may have changed significantly.
As working from home and being at home became the norm people have used their space in new ways and for those wanting to continue working from home they’re evaluating their space and location.
Because of this, the property market has boomed in a ‘race for space’ as we all look for bigger homes and properties with gardens or outdoor spaces and all of this has affected property prices.
According to the UK House Price Index in the year up until April 2021, the highest regional house price growth is in the North East where we’ve seen an increase of 16.9% – the average house price being £144,032. On the flip side of that London has seen the lowest regional house price growth in the same period, just 3.3% – the average cost being £491,687.
But why does location make a difference to price and what’s going on in the market?
How does location affect property value?
There’s a reason why the catchphrase ‘location, location, location’ is popular with estate agents. The location of a property can absolutely affect the value of property.
There are differences between regions in terms of the average house price. According to the April UK house price index, the highest average house price is in London at £491,687, whereas the West Midlands stands at £216,973. The lowest average house price is in the North East standing at £144,032.
These are natural differences, with factors such as average regional salaries, availability of jobs as well as supply and demand taking an effect on property values.
These differences are only one part of how location can impact property value. There are several things taken into consideration that affect and influence house prices.
- Supply and demand – One of the biggest factors, are there more buyers than sellers in the area, if so you’ll likely see a price increase. In April Newquay saw the 82% of all properties put up for sale this year already sold making it a big seller’s market. However, Birmingham city centre saw just 18.4% of properties sold, making it a buyer’s market.
- Schools – Whether you’re buying or selling, the performance of the local schools will appeal to families. Rightmove even provide a school checker.
- Local infrastructure – Any changes planned for the local area can affect the value of properties. For example, better transport links can increase the value of property. However, if those planned transport development links are too close to a property increasing the noise levels, properties are likely to decrease.
- Flooding – If flooding has occurred in an area within the last 3 years this will have a detrimental effect on the value of the properties.
- Property size – In the ‘race for space’ we’re now looking for bigger homes with outdoor spaces. The demand for these properties forces the value of larger homes up. But, it’s not just about the footprint of the house, it’s how the space is utilised i.e. more bedrooms and en-suites.
- Property features – Does a property have a double garage, new double glazing or unique period features, these specifications can also affect value.
- Local amenities – How far are you from a shop, bus stop, train station?
- Parking – How you can park your car is important especially as many households have multiple cars. Having a garage, carport or even a drive can affect the value of the property.
Where are the most sought after locations in the UK?
Looking past the regional data and into the neighbourhoods, according to Rightmove the top ten most sought after locations for buyers are:
- Didsbury, Greater Manchester
- Walthamstow, London
- Wirral, Merseyside
- Prestwich, Greater Manchester
- Horsforth, West Yorkshire
- Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Greater Manchester
- West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire
- Heaton Moor, Greater Manchester
- Bramhall, Greater Manchester
- Chiswick, London
As the surge in the market pushes up sales, house prices in these areas have seen an increase in value, with Walthamstow seeing an increase of 116%.
How do I find the best place to live?
We don’t always know where we want to move to and that can be a tricky part of searching for a property.
So what should you think about when deciding where to live?
- Where do you need to be near to – work, school, friends and family?
- How far are you happy to be or travel for the above?
- What’s your budget?
Further questions you might want to ask yourself when looking at any area are:
- Nearby amenities – does the area match your lifestyle and do you have access to services in the local area
- Transport links – If you need to commute to work how easy would it be? Are you likely to get stuck in traffic jams at peak times?
- Local environment – Is there anything you should be aware of? What’s in the local vicinity that may affect you.
- Neighbours – Have any complaints been made on the street your potential new home is?
- New developments – What’s going on in the area is there anything planned that could have a positive or negative impact on properties.
- Flood risks – Even if you don’t live on the bank of a river, is there any risk of flooding?
- Crime rates – What are the crime rates and types for the area and how do they compare with other locations?
Doing a bit of research can help you find the best area to meet your needs and within your price range.
Speaking with an experienced broker who has access and knowledge of whole of market lenders and their criteria means you can be one step closer to owning your dream home. They can put you in front of the right lender based on your individual circumstances from the start.