Category: property market news

julian wadden landlords’ workshop 2016!

Julian Wadden are holding their annual Landlords’ workshop on 5th October.

We’ll be there in person if you’d like to discuss The Heatons property market, hope to see you there!

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properties sold by price bands

In the last 12 months, the greatest number of flat sales has occurred in the £100k-£200k price band in SK4 (60.3% of all flat sales). The most common price band for houses was £200k-£300k which accounted for 32.4% of all sales of houses. In that period, the proportion of houses selling in the price band £500k-£750k was 5.1% (0% for flats).

 

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does living near focus school affect nearby house prices?

This is the time of year that pupils here in The Heatons nervously wait for their GCSE and A-Level results. This made us think about the effect of schools on property prices in our area. As you all know, there are many factors that contribute to the value of your home besides its size and location. Things like crime rates, transport links, shops and general amenities all have a noticeable effect on the value of your home. However, proximity to a good local school is one of the biggest ancillary factors, especially for parents. When it comes to buying, education, rather than location, is more often than not the deal-maker for this particular demographic.

Did you know that for some house hunters, the search for a property actually begins on the Ofsted website, rather than with the local agents? It’s no coincidence that property portals have invested heavily in displaying the proximity and performance of schools on each property listing. Some local councils also publish information on schools listed as outstanding, giving the names of streets that fall within the catchment area.

It’s hard to say exactly when school league tables began to have such a bearing on property prices, but there is growing evidence of a strong link between a good school report and the demand for housing close to it. In fact many property hunters are willing to overlook the shortcomings of the property itself and spend beyond their original budget to be in a good schools’ catchment area.

The link between prices and school performance is strongest for primary schools because of their smaller catchment areas, which get smaller the better the school performs. However, secondary schools also have a big effect.

We decided to take a look at the properties surrounding the best performing schools across the whole country. We found that on average, properties which were within 1km of a good secondary school sold for 8.4% more than the rest of the housing stock in 2015. Perhaps more interestingly, these same properties had increased in value by 5.2% more than the rest over the last decade. Now of course there are other factors at play here, but the impact of the schools will certainly be a major factor.

Heatons school

But how big is this impact in SK4? Well, one of the best performing schools in the area for 2014-15 Key Stage 4 results was Focus School – Stockport Campus. So far in 2016, the average price of properties within a 1km catchment of this school was £258,300. In comparison, properties within 2km of the school had an average value of £203,000, which is 27.2% lower. Interesting, don’t you think?

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the heatons love affair with its 3,200 terraced houses

Call us old fashioned, but we do like the terraced house. In fact, we have done some research that we hope you will find of interest our The Heatons property blog reading friends!

In architecture terms, a terraced or townhouse is a style of housing in use since the late 1600’s in the UK, where a row of symmetrical / identical houses share their side walls. The first terraced houses were actually built by a French man, Monsieur Barbon around St. Paul’s Cathedral within the rebuilding process after the Great Fire of London in 1666. Interestingly, it was the French that invented the terraced house around 1610-15 in the Le Marais district of Paris with its planned squares and properties with identical facades. However, it was the 1730’s in the UK, that the terraced/townhouse came into its own in London and of course in Bath with the impressive Royal Crescent.

However, we are in The Heatons, not Bath, so the majority of our Heatons terraced houses were built in the Victorian era. Built on the back of the Industrial Revolution, with people flooding into the towns and cities for work in Victorian times, the terraced house offered decent livable accommodation away from the slums. An interesting fact is that the majority of Victorian Heatons terraced houses are based on standard design of a ‘posh’ front room, a back room (where the family lived day to day) and scullery off that. Off the scullery, a door to a rear yard, whilst upstairs, three bedrooms (the third straight off the second). Interestingly, the law was changed in 1875 with the Public Health Act and each house had to have 108ft of livable space per main room, running water, it’s own outside toilet and rear access to allow the toilet waste to be collected (they didn’t have public sewers in those days in The Heatons – well not at least where these ‘workers’ terraced houses were built).

It was the 1960’s and 70’s where inside toilets and bathrooms were installed (often in that third bedroom or an extension off the scullery) and gas central heating in the 1980’s and replacement Upvc double glazing ever since.

Looking at the make up of all the properties in The Heatons, some very interesting numbers appear. Of the 15,675 properties in SK4 …

2,368 are Detached properties (15.11%)
6,298 are Semi Detached properties (40.18)
3,237 are Terraced / Town House properties (20.65%)
3,871 are Apartment/ Flat’s (24.70%)

And quite noteworthy, there are 3 mobile homes, representing 0.02% of all property in The Heatons.

When it comes to values, the average price paid for a Heatons terraced house in 1995 was £54,900 and the latest set of figures released by the land Registry states that today that figure stands at £155,400, a rise of 235% – that’s not bad at all is it.

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what’s the story with price trends?

Since the first quarter of 2015, average sales prices of detached properties in The Heatons have increased by 2.7%, which represents the best performance of all property types. The next best performers were terraces, which saw an increase of 2.4%, followed by semis (2.2%). The poorest performance came from flats. These of course are averages.

 

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home sizes

According to the last census, the most common type of property in The Heatons is a three bedroom house, which accounts for 43.4% of the total. This is 8.9% lower than the regional average and 3.1% lower than the national average. The next most common type of property is a four bedroom or more house (41.3%) followed by a two bedroom house (10.4%).

 

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how have sales rates changed?

The volume of sales in a given area is a powerful measure of the vitality of local housing markets. In the last three years there have been 2,023 sales in The Heatons. Semis accounted for the largest number of sales (751), followed by terraces (620), then flats (364) and detached properties accounted for the fewest sales (288).

 

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a brighter future for first-time buyers in the heatons?

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, things have changed a lot for first-time buyers recently. Government schemes and mortgage requirements seem to change every week, so would-be homeowners have got to keep up. However, for those in the know, there are a lot more options in The Heatons than there used to be.

The first challenge awaiting would-be home-owners these days is the deposit for the mortgage. The bigger the deposit, the better the chances of getting a great deal. The minimum required deposit is around 5%, so with an average home in The Heatons valued at £237,600 locals will require a deposit of at least £11,900. That’s quite a lot of saving up, given that average annual salaries in the region are £25,700.

The Government has stepped-up to help make saving easier. The newly introduced ‘Help To Buy ISA’ will hopefully make saving for a first home quicker and less painful. Save £200 and the Government will contribute £50 each time.

The Government has also made it easier for first-time buyers to purchase new-build properties. With the ‘Help To Buy’ scheme, they still need a deposit of around 5%, but then the Government loan a further 20% interest free for the first five years, meaning they only need a mortgage for 75% of the property price. In London the loan is up to 40%. After year five they have to pay interest at 1.75% of the shared equity loan at the time they purchased the property, rising each year after that by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) plus 1%. Sell up or pay the mortgage back and they’ll be asked to repay the Government’s share of the loan, along with a share of any increase in the home’s value.

Interestingly, of the 146,500 people who took advantage of the ‘Help To Buy’ scheme between the 1st of April 2013 and the 31st of December 2015, only 21 of them were in The Heatons. Low figures are usually down to either low house building rates or local prices being above the £600k ceiling for ‘Help To Buy’.

Another option for buying a first home in The Heatons is shared ownership, which allows a would-be homeowner to part-buy part-rent their property. Back in 2011, there were 55 shared ownership properties in The Heatons and given the national growth rate there should be around 65 now.

Under this scheme, owners start off with buying anything from 25% to 75% of their home, usually with a mortgage, and paying a monthly rent to a housing association, who will usually give the occupier the chance to increase their ownership share, known as ‘staircasing’.

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how many cars in the heatons?

In The Heatons, the majority of households own one car (44.0% of all households). This is 1.5% higher then the average in the North West. The next most common category of car ownership in The Heatons is two cars (27.1% of all households), which is 3.6% higher than the average in the North West.

 

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how do the heatons residents get to work?

An analysis of commuting preferences in The Heatons shows that the majority of people use a car to get to work (67%). This is followed by bus (10.4%), and then on foot (7.1%). It will be interesting to monitor how this pattern changes over time given the trend in The Heatons and everywhere else to more flexible working, i.e. working from home.

 

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