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Manchester Leads UK Property Boom

Manchester Leads UK Property Boom

Manchester Leads UK Property Boom

Increasing property prices are not just a phenomenon belonging to London and the South-East of England, as new data from Nationwide shows that all UK regions are now enjoying increasing property prices as the property boom continues to gather pace.

Every region across the UK saw property prices increase year-on-year, ranging from a 14.9% annual increase in London to a 1.9% uplift in the North.

Nationwide reported that property values increased by an average of 8.4% across the whole of the UK in 2013, as the market revival became increasingly broad-based, but Manchester emerged as the property boom city, with property prices up by 21% over the last year, to reach an average value of £209,627 (GBP).

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Residential property affordability is at its most favourable in almost a decade, according to the latest Lloyds TSB Affordable Cities Review.

My home town of Salford, in the North West, is the most affordable UK city with an average property price of £102,391 that is 3.81 times the average gross annual earnings.

This partly reflects a 32% fall in house prices in this part of Greater Manchester since 2008.

The average price for a home in a UK city is £173,202 equating to 5.5 times the average gross annual earnings.

This is an improvement on 5.7 times the average gross annual earnings in 2011 and is significantly below the peak of 7.2 times the average gross annual earnings observed in 2008.

10 most affordable UK cities, 2012

UK cities

Region

Price to Earnings ratio

Salford

North West

3.81

Londonderry

Northern Ireland

3.87

Bradford

Yorkshire and the Humber

3.98

Lancaster

North West

4.00

Stirling

Scotland

4.04

Belfast

Northern Ireland

4.08

Durham

North

4.08

Lisburn

Northern Ireland

4.09

Hereford

West Midlands

4.26

Birmingham

West Midlands

4.43

UK cities average

 

5.51

Sources: Lloyds Banking Group, ONS

The marked improvement in affordability in UK cities over recent years has been driven by the significant fall in residential property prices.

Since 2008, the average house price within a city has fallen by 18% (£37,403) from £210,605 in 2008 to £173,202 in 2012.

  • 7 out of the 8 most affordable cities are in Northern Ireland and the North of England.
  • Ely in the East of England is the most affordable city in the south of England (4.60).

The least affordable city in the UK is Truro in the South West where the average property price (£250,489) is nearly ten times (9.71) the average gross earnings in the area. The benefits to the quality of life associated with living in this picturesque part of Cornwall have supported residential property prices in this area for the past decade.

Oxford (8.80) is the second least affordable city, followed by Winchester (8.76). Inverness (5.97) and York (5.95) are the least affordable cities outside Southern England.

Suren Thiru, housing economist at Lloyds TSB, commented: “The improvement in housing affordability within many of our major urban conurbations has been significant during the past few years and reflects the decline in house prices over the period. There is, however, a distinct north-south divide to the locations of the most affordable UK cities. Looking forward, the marked improvement in city affordability is likely to help support demand for those able to enter the housing market. Much of this benefit, however, maybe offset by the continuing difficulties many households face in raising a deposit and uncertainty over the outlook for the UK economy.”

With the continuation of the record low Bank of England interest rates (0.5%) there has been very little movement in UK property prices for more than 8 months.

However, UK mortgage lender Halifax reckons there was a 0.6% increase in UK property values in January 2012.
The UK’s largest mortgage lender found that despite the month-on-month increase in January, on average UK property prices were still 0.9% lower over a rolling three-month period.

The average price of a UK residential property in January 2012 was £160,907.

This has resulted in a 14-year low, in terms of payments in proportion to household earnings, for new borrowers looking to invest in UK residential properties.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: “If the UK can avoid a prolonged recession, we expect broad stability in house prices in 2012.”

The prospects for UK property prices in 2012 will depend on many facors, including the fallout and repercussions from the Eurozone debacle and its effect on the struggling UK economy.

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