Our friends in the U.S have been chasing the ‘American Dream’ for some time now, yet we Brits don’t really have a moniker for ‘making it’ in the UK. If we were to coin our version of the ‘British Dream’, we imagine it would be celebrated every time someone took their first steps on the property ladder.
First-time buyers play a pivotal role in the UK housing market and represent a key driver of demand. The average age of first-time buyers has been steadily rising over the last few decades as property has been less and less affordable in some parts of the country. However, schemes like shared ownership and Help-to-buy have helped younger people get on the ladder, putting downward pressure on average ages of first-time buyers.
The number of second homes registered in a local area can really give you a feel of if the area is right for you. In SK4, the mix is as follows:
No 2nd address 96.4%
2nd address within the UK 2.6%
2nd address outside the UK 1.1%
(Dated May 2017)
Want to know how in demand properties in a given area are? Occupancy is a useful indicator for demand, as well as illustrating how spacious or cosy properties are in the local area. In SK4, 54.1 per cent of properties have two or more extra rooms and 22.1 per cent have one extra room.
The weather may still be warming up outside, but it’s already a hot time of year for the property market. The expected uptick in sales has materialised as you can see from the chart. Particularly notable are sales levels of detached properties, which have increased 68.2 per cent since the last quarter of 2015.
With increasing clarity from the government, the housing market is returning to it’s usual stride. Looking at quarter-on-quarter price data in SK4, we can see that the average sold prices of flats is up 17.4 per cent since the last quarter of 2015.
New housing is a hotly debated subject in the UK. Despite the recent uptick in building rates, demand continues to outstrip supply and more affordable homes need to be built. The situation has improved over the last few years; the number of new homes started and finished in the UK is at a nine-year high. However, forecasts show that England alone needs to build 50 per cent more homes to keep up with demand, so the issue is far from resolved. The pressure is mounting on the government to find a solution.
156,140 new homes were registered for construction in 2015, the highest it has been in eight years. This was half a per cent higher than the previous year and 45 per cent higher than 2009.
From 2014 to 2015, private sector starts increased by seven per cent, while Housing Association starts rose by five per cent. That means that since the credit crunch in 2008, the UK housing stock has grown by around five percent, which is no small feat.
From individuals to large families, the spread of household size can indicate the likely availability of appropriately sized properties. The most common size of household in The Heatons is one occupant, and makes up 35.3% of the total households in the area.