We’ve known for some time that the housing market in England, and the UK more generally, is on a huge upwards curve.
There are a number of theories as to why, but the most prominent and believable are that the stamp duty holiday initiative stimulated demand that was already there thanks to the lifting of restrictions. This has resulted in a massive increase in activity.
House prices across the country have increased by a massive margin according to the latest figures, estimating that up to May prices increased by 10% across the entire UK.
That’s unlikely to last at such a searing pace, however, that’s not to suggest that this doesn’t represent a wider market trend thanks to shifting priorities and increased investment.
The fundamentals of the market continue to look very strong indeed, and demand certainly isn’t shifting or plateauing, indicating that this is a level of demand that’s likely to last at least into next year and perhaps beyond.
That being said, the drive in price increases hasn’t been even across the country and, in fact, appears to be mainly driven by a handful of areas and regions that are performing beyond other areas.
According to the data, then, where are these areas?
The data from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) suggests that this is very much clustered around the Northern English regions, as reported by the BBC.
According to their report, “This increase was driven by the North West and North East of England, as well as Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber.
The price of the average UK home was £266,000, the ONS said.
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: Once again the North West leads the charge, while London property prices lag.
‘This reinforces what we have been seeing for some time – the race for space means buyers’ money is going further outside the capital, inevitably pushing up prices.’
This reinforces something we already knew, but now appears to be solidifying as a prominent theme, that the north of England is enjoying a huge increase in popularity, perhaps also driven by remote working meaning that those who were tied to the South East are now finding it easier to move away.
What then, for investors?
Well, those that are already committed in the North West and the wider Norther England regions will probably be unsurprised by this latest data, but those away from the bubble may raise their eyebrows a little.
Certainly, Manchester was a good example of where restrictions were hurting the city region as they’d been applied there much longer than other areas of the country.
There was initially some concern that this could lead to an unequal recovery, however, the data emerging since then shows a local economy roaring back into life as jobs are created and investment soars.
The message should be clear then – if you’re already invested in this area then you’ve chosen wisely and now may be the time to invest further. If you’ve not invested in property around the Northern English regions, now may very well be the time to start.