January 2019 Yorkshire Property News - 05/02/19

Whilst no one can seriously suggest that the ongoing Brexit debacle is a positive thing, at Robert Watts we are cautiously optimistic about the health of the local property market.  We echo what the national agents have reported in late 2018 including Savills who believe that the north will fare better than the south in 2019 and beyond and is sticking by its prediction that Yorkshire could see the second highest house price growth in Britain over the next five years. 

The report says that our region may see average house prices rise by 2.5 per cent in 2019 and Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, said: “The traditional north-south divide will turn on its head, with the Midlands, North and Scotland expected to see the strongest increases.”  Wise words there from Mr Cook and, in our opinion, about time this was highlighted.

Knight Frank also says our region is the second best performer after the North East in its five-year table with a 12 per cent compound growth in values between 2019 and 2023. JLL expects Yorkshire house prices to rise by one per cent next year, compared to the average UK prices increasing by 0.5%, although most researchers assume a Brexit deal being agreed, which obviously is far from certain at present.

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In essence there is a huge discrepancy in prices in our region and the rest of the UK and, as such, ‘a one size fits all’ approach does not work when assessing how the market is performing. At Robert Watts we had a good year for sales in 2018 and were consistently the number one selling agent within our relevant postcodes with over 620 houses sold and a wide range of houses selling.  Sales of higher priced houses over £350,000 were more limited however as buyers hunted for affordability.  Whilst we may lament the lack of growth in house prices in our area compared to other more ‘buoyant’ areas in the UK, particularly London and the South East, this does mean we are somewhat sheltered from the downturns in the market. 

For every negative headline, we feel there is a positive angle to exploit and this is particularly true for stock levels.  The latest RICS Residential Market Survey states the general stagnation of UK house prices is underpinned by the lack of new properties being listed for sale. In the second-hand market, not enough properties have been listed to replenish those sold and average stock levels remain near all-time record lows. 

In plain English this means houses are selling well and the lack of supply is increasing demand which is great news for sellers as we have active numbers of potential buyers on our database who want to take advantage of the low interest rates.  We therefore urge would be sellers to contact us for a free valuation to discuss their options going forward.

In conclusion, we have had a busy and positive start to 2019 and we firmly believe that our local market in Bradford & Kirklees is well set to continue despite the ramifications of Brexit.  As we tell our customers, it is impossible to say when the whole mess will be sorted out so you can wait forever and in the meantime there are active buyers within the market wanting to move.