A True North-South Divide

Some interesting statistics analysed this week by Kate Faulkner (a top property market analyst – she’s everywhere at the moment!) in her regular round up of Hometrack data.

What this survey monitors is price movements in UK cities, so I find it quite interesting to look at the situation for our Leicester landlords.

Here’s the report if you want the full detail: https://www.hometrack.com/uk/insight/uk-cities-house-price-index/

What Kate, who you might have heard on BBC Radio commenting on property issues, points out is the gap between where prices are now, compared to where they were at the peak of the market pre the last crash. Some areas have strongly exceeded those levels: London – 44% up on the 2007/08 market height (no surprise there, I would think, for most of us – this is the market that the media loves to pick up on and spin into “boomtime” stories in the press); then there’s Brighton at 25% up, Reading at 21%, Bristol 14%, Oxfordshire 19%, Cambridge 12%, and Milton Keynes 10%.

See the story emerging? The South East up by 13% on average, plus those stellar London prices. The North East down by 23% in November 2015 versus peak heights 2007/08, and the North West down by 16%

So, what of Leicester? Down by 8% versus peak, and with the market up in November on a year-on-year basis by just 2%, Kate’s comment is that many markets to the north of the south and south east will have to wait some years yet for prices to truly “recover”.

I confess I don’t see the reasons behind any local pressure to sell; a lot of landlords are deciding to consider cashing in and moving on from rental, but there’s still growth to be factored in, and for many a holding strategy and staying in renting, while the interest rate is still benign, makes sense. Of course, keep properties invested-in and in good shape to sell when the time is right, but selling at a price below where they once were is an emotional challenge, I suppose it’s fair to say. And even if that means a ten-year game, well that’s the nature of property investment.

Kate Faulkner’s article – refer page 4: article here

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