Sellers are being urged to be realistic with their pricing, but the north west property market is bucking the trend as asking prices continue to be met and even exceeded.
News of potential turbulence in the economic market caused many people to apply the brakes towards the end of last year, leading to predictions of a tailing off in the UK’s soaring housing market. Now, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics has revealed what actually happened to sales as 2022 drew to a close.
Its results, which always lag slightly behind other house price indices due to the fact they are based on official land registry sold prices as opposed to asking prices (which aren’t always met), reveal that house prices in November climbed by 10.3% compared with November 2021.
This is indeed a slowdown from October’s 12.4% annual increase, but still reveals a strong and growing housing market overall in the penultimate month of the year. It marks the end of an unprecedented year for the property market, which saw prices soar at record rates.
North west property market flying
Many London agents have been seeing homes sell for less than asking price recently. This could be due to a slowing market as more buyers hold back to wait and see whether the economy will stabilise now that the effects of the mini-budget are largely behind us.
However, the north west property sector is seeing very different results, according to Nathan Emerson, Propertymark chief executive.
“In November, our agents reported a market that was on the cusp of seeing purchasing power handed back to buyers which was a trend we hadn’t seen in months.
“Interestingly, estate agents in London are reporting buyers agreeing sales at under the asking price, however agents in the north west are seeing properties sell for asking price very quickly after being marketed, sometimes in a matter of days.
“Buyers are looking for more affordable properties. If sellers are realistic with their pricing, there are plenty of serious buyers out there that will move quickly.”
So both buyers and sellers in the north west property market continue to move quickly, which coincides with the region seeing the highest annual percentage price change in the ONS’s November data. It found prices across north west property increased by 13.5% in the year to November – well above average.
The north west property market has been marked out as one of the most promising regions for property investment for some time now. Huge regeneration projects and the levelling up agenda have created vast improvements in the area’s towns and cities, while people are also attracted by its relative affordability.
London continues to lag
While London remains on the radar for many property investors, it has seen its performance lag over recent years compared with the north west property market.
The latest results are no exception, with the area seeing the lowest percentage house price rise – 6.3% – out of all the English regions. House prices in and around London are among the highest in the country, causing many buyers to be priced out of the area.
Other strong regions in terms of house price growth are the West Midlands, where property prices increased by 12.3% in the year to November 2022, and the East Midlands where prices rose by 12.2%. This was followed by the south west (11.8%) and the north east (11.6%).
It is important to note that, while the results are useful to gauge the overall market in these regions, there are many pockets within them that are still seeing tremendous growth, while other locations are lagging behind. For anyone investing in property, it is important to look more specifically at performance within your location.
Browse some of BuyAssociation’s recent property investment opportunities here, including several within the north west property market, or get in touch for more information about where you can invest in the north west and beyond.