The winter months often see a slowdown in the housing market as homeowners are reluctant to sell over Christmas and the cold weather. However, annualised house price rises in the East of England have now overtaken those in Greater London and South-East England, according to the latest figures published in the home.co.uk Asking Price Index. This amounts to an average residential price increase of 12.2% across the region. By any standards these are astonishing rises, especially for the time of year, pre-empting the expected ‘spring price surge’ as the result of more homes traditionally coming on the market from March onwards.
With the trend predicted to hold until at least 2017, investors, homeowners and estate agents alike are watching the market with interest to see how things develop.
What is behind the huge price rises?
Probably the biggest factor behind house price rises in the East of England is a regional lack of supply. This is a problem familiar to homeowners and investors in the south of the country for some time, but until recently has not been an acute problem in the Midlands. This simply aren’t enough new, affordable houses being built in the East Midlands, and so the stock of available property coming onto the market remains low.
Although the situation isn’t as bad as it is in the West Midlands, which saw a 17% decrease in newly available housing compared to January 2015, the East of England still saw 14% fewer new properties coming onto the market than this time last year.
At the same time, demand for property has gone through the roof, partly as a result of population increase and partially to do with increased rental prices.
Long-term tenants are now increasingly looking to enter the property market and take on mortgages, rather than ‘save and rent’. The result is a classic scarcity situation, where demand outstrips supply and prices rise steeply as a result.
Low interest rates are also a factor. With rates held at their current rate until at least next year, we are looking at a buoyant property market for the foreseeable future. Early proof of this is 0.7% average price rise across the region last month.
What does this mean for North Nottinghamshire?
Some commentators have chosen to take a negative view of these trends, but despite the naysayers, the housing market in Mansfield, Sutton in Ashfield and the surrounding area is in a very strong position as a result of these changes. Both existing and potential homeowners have good reason to be optimistic.
Despite the rapidly increasing regional averages, prices in the local area remain exceptionally competitive compared with other parts of the Midlands. This is great for both current homeowners and for people looking to buy a property in the area. If you already own a home in the area, look forward to a year to 18 months’ worth of progressive increase in the value of your property. You’re already in a great position.
And if you’re looking to get onto the property ladder? Our advice is to buy as soon as you can, while house prices remain low and mortgage rates are the most affordable they have been for years. Despite a relative shortage of new-build homes (and that could well change this year), there are still a good number of fantastic properties coming onto the market in Mansfield and Sutton in Ashfield. Within easy commuting distance of Nottingham and with good train and motorway links to London, North Nottinghamshire is becoming a popular base for professional working families.
To have a look at our latest properties, please take a browse through our website, and don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01623 554084 for more information.