The north-south divide has underpinned property prices for many years, but buyer demand is booming in the north while it languishes in the south.
London house price growth is remaining stagnant and momentum is building in the northern and midland regions.
According to Rightmove, house prices have increased by an average of 0.4% over the past month, bringing the average UK asking price up to £309,439. By early 2017 average sale prices in the south were 78.7% higher than in the north, the highest premium in the last 20 years.
In the east and particularly the south, challenging conditions have imposed a spike in the number of properties available on the market compared to this time last year, resulting in less competition between vying for houses and a potential to secure lower offers.
In the south, there is now a staggering 17.5% more homes up for sale than there were in 2017 as buyers are less eager to opt for the premium prices the south presents. The growth of house prices in cities in the south of the country, including Oxford, Cambridge and London, have slowed as affordability bites, and southern investors are reaping the benefits from northern cities, like Manchester, more than ever.
In contrast, the north is heading in the opposite direction and has propelled itself into the limelight to snap up properties of lesser value. With 4.3% less homes available on the market now than 12 months ago, buyer competition is intense, and prices could be pushed up as a result of the relative lack of available stock.
Real estate growth in Manchester consistently outstrips average forecasts for the UK property market as prices soared in the city by 34% in the three years leading up to July 2017, overpowering the national average.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director states,
“If you dig a bit deeper, you’ll find that the main driver is good buyer demand in the comparatively stock-starved northern half of Britain’s housing market.”
The north presents more affordable opportunities as a home in the capital now costs 14.2 times the average national income. Affordability crossed with towering demand has led to the number of properties available dwindling in the north and increasing in the south. However, this does not present an adverse issue as the incessant demand for property in the north fails to have a detrimental effect on the cost of living, it may only present less choice or an increased competition.
The north remains the most attractive proposition as the combination of both moderate prices and ambitious rental yields create incomparable investment opportunities for buy to let landlords compared to the south. Manchester’s vibrant economy and proliferation has acted as a catalyst for increasing investment levels within the city.
Investors are able to enter the buy to let market with more ease if their income is relatively high compared to local property prices, whilst earning a stronger rate of income if these properties command high levels of rent to their price. Annual returns between 11% and 20% have been recorded in both Manchester and the neighbouring borough of Salford and the pace is predicted to replicate and flourish over the next decade.
Buy to let landlords are conscious of the north-south divide and it has long been highlighted that prime locations such as Kensington and Chelsea offer extremely low yields due to a price surge whilst rents have struggled to match the pace. In Manchester, the population is forecasted to accelerate faster than the national average in the forthcoming years and the city offers unparalleled opportunities for investors considering their options outside of the capital.
RWinvest, a leading property investment company in Liverpool, offer prosperous opportunities for buy to let investors to take advantage of high rental yields and low property prices in some of the most thriving northern hotspots.