UK housing market: Northern cities offer low-cost buying options

UK housing market Northern cities offer low-cost buying options

25 Jun 2019

UK housing market

Buying a property in London is one of the biggest purchases but the cost of property continues to increase in the key regions. The Nationwide report suggests the average prices increased in the months of March to May by 2.5 percent, on the previous 3 months.  A recent report by Global Witness finds over 87,000 property in the UK are owned by companies registered in tax havens.  Many of the property are legitimate but some have come under the National Crime Agency investigations and freezing orders have been given on property worth £80m.  The recommendation to scrutinize the UK property was made in a report submitted by the Labour party that looks after land policy/ ownership data. The report seeks to improve transparency on property ownership to tackle money laundering in the sector. It also recommends creating a public register where the agreements between the seller and landowners will be mentioned with an option to purchase.

Some believe the inflow of dirty money into the UK housing market created an artificial hike and unaffordability for the local buyers. At the same time, Labour is proposing to introduce a progressive property tax, which will be set nationally and be paid by the owners. Steps have been recommended by the party to discourage the use of a property as financial assets.

The asking price of the house increased four folds in the last two decades and economic studies claim 81 percent increase in price between the years from 1950 to 2012 that created unaffordability and housing shortage in many regions.  To improve land use, the Labour party wants to introduce the compulsory sale orders, where the government will be able to seize land left vacant by the owners and auction it. The proposal includes the abolishment of stamp duty for houses bought for personal use and the abolishment of inheritance tax.

Average asking price increases

Brexit and political turmoil hit the real estate markets in the UK, where the average price of the market was £309,348 in 2018 that was almost equal to the record property price in June 2017, which shows the markets have flattened. However, Midlands and North have been pushing the average price in the country where the asking price continues to increase more than ever before, on the contrary, Scotland and London have declining average price.  According to Rightmove - markets in the north of England gained, resulting in an increase in the average national rate of the newly marketed property by almost 0.3%.

Hometrack Zoopla finds the rates in the South are gaining driven by local factors, income, employment, and affordability. Buyers can find three bedroom property in the range below £100,000 or less in some alternative regions. In key cities like London, Cambridge, Bristol or Bath, one may not get to see property for sale. Buyers can own low-cost property in the North West, Yorkshire or North East. Some of the cities where the buyers can get a property at a low cost include Bradford, Liverpool, Rotherham, Blackpool, Hull, Nottingham, Sheffield, and Bolton.

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