Liverpool house price

In the north: Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield lead house price rises

Housing demand remains strong in the north of England as house prices continue to rise. Areas with the strongest investment and regeneration prospects are leading the pack.

The latest house price index from property portal Zoopla shows the continuing strong performance of the country’s housing market. Despite the end of the stamp duty cut, demand is higher than ever, and activity remains fast-paced.

The report shows that the average time to sell a home in August 2021 was at a record low, and has been throughout the year. On average, listings are being snapped up within 27 days. Acknowledging that overall stock levels are low, Zoopla still expects this trend to continue into Q4.

In the three months to the end of August, house prices in the UK climbed by 1.2%. In the year to date, they rose by an average +6.1%, says Zoopla.

North and north-west markets gaining momentum

Looking away from the UK as a whole, Zoopla hones in on the regional differences that exist across the country. The property market in the north of England continues to stand out, according to the report, particularly the north-west.

Liverpool makes headlines again for this biggest house price rises. It saw a jump of +9.8% between September 2020 and September 2021. Average house prices in the city remain low, though, at £137,600. The area is already well-known as a property investment hotspot, after rising through the ranks in recent years.

It regularly scores top for rental yields for landlords, and the ongoing regeneration and improvements taking place in the city continue to attract new inhabitants – including both buyers and renters.

Manchester came in second on the list for house price gains this year. Values increased by a huge +8.1% in the YTD August 2021, bringing the average price to £195,100. Again, this still falls below the average UK house price, making it an ever popular place for graduates, young professionals and students, as well as those relocating from London. For investors, rental yield prospects are also impressive, and demand for rental homes in the city remains high.

Another northern city, Sheffield comes next on the list for house price rises. According to Zoopla, it saw property values grow by +7.6% in the year to August 2021. This brings the average value to £153,400. The city has a £1.5bn regeneration project currently in the pipeline, again making it an increasingly attractive location to buy property.

Stamp duty impact

According to Zoopla, so far the ending of the stamp duty cut is not reducing appetite. While activity may begin to slow slightly in 2022, we could still expect a strong end to the year.

Grainne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, says: “The ending of the ‘tapered’ stamp duty holiday has had little impact on buyer demand, which remains higher than typical levels for this time of year.

“We expect the market to remain busy compared to historical norms, and for price growth to remain in firmly positive territory at the end of the year, although lower than current levels of +6.1%.”

“Stock levels will start to rebuild in early 2022 as market activity returns to more normal levels.”

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