North-west cost of living

North and Midlands asking prices rise while London and south-east slump

House prices in the West Midlands, Yorkshire and the north-west of England continued to rise while those in the south-east and London slumped again, according to new figures.

The Asking Price Index from returned strong year-on-year data from these three English regions, while Wales also performed well. Prices in the Principality rose by 7.4% in the last 12 months, with an average Welsh asking price of £206,069. Houses in Wales are 9.9% higher than at the start of the global financial crisis 10 years ago, and recently reached an all-time high.

Birmingham’s bright outlook

The performance of the West Midlands reflects a sense of optimism in the region. Asking prices there have risen by 5.2% to £250,181 over the year in an area that has seen major employers like HSBC and Deutsche Bank relocate operations from London.

Earlier in 2018, a report from Savills revealed that the average saving per employee for businesses relocating away from London is approximately £10,000 for the worker and £10,000 for the property, and another showed that 49% of graduates from the local universities stay in Birmingham.

Long-term projects like the HS2 rail link and development for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham are also helping fuel interest in the property scene.

North-west cities faring well

The north-west fared well, with prices going up by 4.8% to an average figure of £203,545. The cities of Manchester and Liverpool continue to see growth and new investment, while Preston was recently named as the most improved city in Britain – and may get a new tram system in the next few years.

Yorkshire and the Humber saw asking prices rise by 4.7% to an average of £196,739, but it was a different story in the south-east and Greater London. The area outside the capital saw prices drop by 0.8%, and in London itself they fell by 2.5%, but the results cannot just be blamed on the current uncertain economic climate according to Home director Doug Shepherd.

“The London property boom and bust was ‘baked into the cake’ a long time before Brexit,” says Mr Shepherd.

“We expect these losses to extend to 3.5% in 2019 as sentiment worsens and more potential homebuyers play ‘wait and see’ based on the logical assumption that prices will be lower next year.”

Home describe Wales as “the shining star” of next year’s property market and say prices there could go up by a further 7%. But they also predict that rates of growth in the north-west and Yorkshire will level out in 2019, and that a shortage of rental property in London will forces rents up sharply.

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