Aspen Woolf looks at the most expensive versus the cheapest property in Leeds

For Sale Signs - Aspen Woolf

The North of England is having a resurgence in terms of regeneration, property development and a growing job market. There are more reasons than ever to invest in property in cities such as Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester, led by the Northern Powerhouse initiative.

Particularly since the vote to leave the European Union in June 2016, property investment across the UK has experienced a sea change. More and more investors are turning away from London and the South East as economic and political uncertainty shake a previously unwavering property market and setting their sights further up north.

Property hotspot

Leeds has become a prime property hotspot, thanks to a steady stream of city-centre regeneration and funding, along with a solid and thriving job market. Add in a bustling city centre packed with all the amenities young professionals look for, and a strong student population, it’s not surprising that investment in Leeds is constantly increasing.

At Aspen Woolf, we keep an eye on all the property investment news across cities including Leeds and have examined recent sales to get a picture of the kinds of prices people can expect.

Variety of property

The cheapest residential property that completed in March this year sold for just £36,500. At the other end of the scale, the buyers of the most expensive property sold in March paid more than 26 times this price.

This shows the sheer variety of options for people looking for property in Leeds. Whether investors are searching for the perfect buy-to-let property, or families are looking to move into a larger house, there is a scale of pricing available that isn’t seen in regions further south.Land Registry figures

The figures from HM Land Registry for March 2018 show that some property investors paid a lot of money for truly stunning properties situated in the city’s suburbs, while other people sought out and found bargains closer to the city centre.

The most expensive home sold in March was a detached house in the Boston Spa area of Leeds. It was sold for an impressive £975,000, providing a stark contrast with the cheapest flat sold for just £36,500.

UK-wide, across the same period, more than 90,000 homes were sold. The most expensive residential property on record sold for £15 million and is located in the London suburb of Barnet. The cheapest of all went for £20,000 in County Durham. This provides a good scale to measure Leeds prices by.

Detached properties

A closer look at what buyers in Leeds secured for their money can be seen by detailing some of the sales below. As mentioned, the most expensive property was located in Boston Spa. For £975,000 the buyer enjoyed a five-bedroom detached house in this leafy suburb of Leeds. Next on the list was another five-bed detached property in Foxhill Drive, Leeds, which sold for £747,000.

Another five-bed detached family home, this time in the Adel area of Leeds, sold for £650,000 and a four-bed detached home in Boston Spa went for £521,555. A lovely four-bed home in the outlying Leeds village of Shadwell sold for £515,000 and another Adel four-bed detached went for £499,995.

Bargain buys

Turning towards the cheaper end of the market, the biggest bargain was the flat sold for £36,500 in the Hunslet area of Leeds. Another flat in Lower Wortley sold for £37,250 and a terraced two-bed home for £40,000 in Lascelles Place.

No matter what kind of property buyers are looking for, Leeds is a good place to look. From apartments close to the always improving city centre amenities, to large detached homes in green suburbs, the variety available is comparable to that in the South East, but for much more affordable prices.

Aspen Woolf On Why Property Investment In The North-West Has Doubled

Manchester town hall

There has been a huge rise in commercial property investment in the north-west of England. Investors have increasingly come to realise the value of some of the key areas in the north, including Liverpool.

Thanks to this awareness and understanding, along with the benefits from the Northern Powerhouse initiative, investors have increased their interest to a record high.

Figures Increased

During Q1 2018, the volumes of investment in cities like Liverpool has leapt to £965 million according to figures released by UK Investment Transactions. This is more than twice the amount achieved in Q1 2017, which peaked at £440 million.

This is a phenomenal start to the year in terms of property investment and is thanks largely to two main deals. The first came when L&G bought Liverpool’s India Buildings for £125 million, and the second with Aviva’s acquisition of 2 New Bailey in the Salford area of Manchester. The latter deal was worth £113 million, and both Liverpool and Manchester have contributed to this huge boost in investment.

Office Space

The top investment in the north-west region’s commercial property sector was office space. This accounted for 41% of all transactions in the first quarter of 2018. The retail sector continues to fall slightly behind, which is something mirrored across the whole of the UK as customer attention continues to shift online.

While retail is likely to continue to be more subdued, there seems no stopping the rest of the commercial sector in Liverpool and Manchester, as well as surrounding areas.

Build-to-rent Investment

We’ve also seen a significant increase in build-to-rent investment deals in the north-west. This was again boosted by a major deal in Liverpool. This was to create 383 build-to-rent unites and the development has been financed by forward-funding by Invesco and Manchester arena.

Both Liverpool and Manchester have enjoyed major advances in their build-to-rent market over the last year or so, and industry experts expect this to continue as an investment trend.

Comparatively strong

Overall, the north-west continues to perform strongly and this is shown clearly when figures are compared with the rest of the country’s data. A broad rage of investors, from the UK and overseas, are continuing to show real interest in investing in the region.

As we head towards Brexit and the uncertainty it brings, more investors are turning away from London and looking around at other viable investment hotspots in the UK. Liverpool and Manchester are continually surprising the market with excellent figures and its’ likely that this strong start to the year will continue throughout the rest of 2018.

Investment Property Price Growth For Leeds

Leeds City Skyline view

Property investment in Leeds is increasing, and a new report by property consultancy experts JLL reveals that it’s not going to slow down any time soon.

Average investment property prices in Leeds city centre will increase by 3.5% over the course of 2018, according to the New Housing Paradigm report. The outlook for the next five years is even more positive with expectations of strong price growth at an average of 3.7% per annum.

Proving its legitimacy as part of the Northern Powerhouse and a viable alternative for property investors now looking outside of London, the level of growth expected in Leeds is second only to that projected for Manchester.

Average Rents To Rise

Rents for apartments in Leeds city centre remained flat during 2017, but it’s predicted that they will increase by 3.5% by the end of this year. Again, over the next five years, it’s expected that they will increase by 3.5% every year.

Leeds is the standout market for investors to keep their eye on over the next few years, and housing markets across Northern England are going to be among the strongest too.

London Market Stagnating

This rise of the Northern Powerhouse comes at a time when London is losing its grip as the number one choice for property investors. Its housing market is starting to stagnate, while market growth in the south of the country has been slowly starting to stabilise thanks to high property prices deterring potential investors.

London is still a key market of course, but there is no doubt that the rising interest in property investment across the north is signalling the start of a new phase for the UK’s property market.

Infrastructure Investment

Anyone who has been keeping an eye on developments across Northern England will have seen extensive redevelopment and investment in key infrastructure. Excellent and improving travel links, a relatively buoyant job market and much more affordable housing than in the south of England, have all combined to turn people’s attention to the north.

There is also a marked rising demand in Leeds specifically for the ‘build-to-rent’ market. This is fuelled by the influx of young professionals eager to enjoy the benefits of living and working in a major city, as well as a stream of affluent students willing to pay for a high level of accommodation.

Build-To-Rent Market

There are currently 3,500 build-to-rent units in addition to the 2,000 private sale units sitting in the development pipeline, all due for completion relatively soon.

Historically, this rental demand has been under-served, and this new influx of build-to-rent units will satisfy the need. Manchester has seen this particular asset class perform extremely well, and it’s likely that Leeds will follow suit.

Over the next few years, we expect to see landlords and developers working to optimise this market model.

Aspen Woolf On The Fluctuations In Dubai’s Property Market Since 2008

Dubai skyline at sunset - Aspen Woolf

It’s been ten years since the economic woes of 2008 that saw the biggest challenge yet for Dubai’s property market. Since then, the market has gone through various transformations as it continues to develop along with the city itself.

What kind of challenges did the imploding of the property bubble bring to Dubai’s market? In this blog, we look at the challenges that have been overcome as well as the biggest achievements of the industry over the last decade.

Sustainable Real Estate Market

While the immediate impact of the property bubble bursting in 2008/2009 were harsh, ten years on we’re looking at a more sustainable real estate market in Dubai. It boasts a more robust regulatory and legal framework and is generally much more mature.

One highlight of the last ten years is the development of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), which started in 2007. Since then it’s come a long way in developing a standardised regulatory framework that protects investors and end users alike. It also helped to restore market confidence across the board.

Consumer Protection

The introduction of consumer protection measures has also helped the market to mature. The most notable of these is the introduction of mandatory escrow accounts for all developers involved in selling off-plan.

A significant amount of legislation has been implemented to further clarify the relationship between off-plan investors and developers should either party default. RERA also now has powers to cancel projects and there are guidelines in place concerning the process of liquidation.

A rental index came into force in 2013 and tenancy contracts were standardised in 2017. These are all positive steps forward in terms of tenant protection. Other legislation that legally distinguishes between residential and commercial property leashes is being discussed.

Regulating The Industry

Dubai’s real estate industry was very young prior to the crash, and this has meant regulating it from scratch. When you compare this to the UK’s property industry, which has had centuries to develop and refine legislation, you can see how challenging this is.

The city’s property market is evolving fast and the efforts of RERA and the Dubai Land Department (DLD) are really paying off.

Improving Market Transparency

‘Form A’ has been implanted to help with Dubai’s transparency problem. This is the standard contract mentioned above between broker and seller. The DLD is also planning to provide more up to date information to the market, which will help the drive towards transparency.

Restoring Investor Confidence

The main challenge after the crash of 2008 has been to restore investor confidence in Dubai’s property market. The city has introduced measures to make sure the market cannot overheat in the same way, and these have proven successful so far.

All the steps taken since 2008 have led to a solid foundation for the industry and should help to take the city to the next level over the next decade.

Market Maturity

Dubai’s real estate market in 2018 is much less speculative than it used to be. Investors are making measured decisions through the analysis of annual returns, and there is an increase of end-user demand. There are fewer speculative investors which has led to a more stable market, which means it’s a more attractive market.

The Youth Effect

Over recent years, younger people have settled in Dubai for the long term, meaning that more young people are prepared to invest in property. This is positive for the future of the market, and the city’s economy as a whole.

Future plans including the focus on tourism, developments and infrastructure in the lead up to Expo 2020, will continue to drive demand in the city for property. Despite the slight decrease in rental yields over the last few years, Dubai’s real estate market is widely thought to be one of the most reliable, attractive and sustainable markets in the world.

Why Liverpool Is A Key Area For First Time Buyers

Ariel View of Liverpool City in the UK

The north has come into its own in recent years thanks to the Northern Powerhouse initiative, extensive investment in key city infrastructure and developments transforming the landscape. All of this, along with the Brexit effect on the south east causing prices to plummet in former property hotspots, mean that northern cities are where it’s at both for investors and first-time buyers.

With all this in mind, it’s perhaps not surprising that recent research from Zoopla has found Liverpool to be one of the most affordable cities in the UK for first-time buyers.

First-time Buyers Index

Liverpool ranked third behind Middlesbrough and Hull as the most affordable when compared with 50 other major cities. Buyers in Liverpool can expect to an average price of £122,137 for a property. Middlesbrough came in second with an average price of £107,041 and Hull first at £104,376.

To compile the index, Zoopla analysed several different data points and compared the 50 largest cities in the UK. The data points include the deposit amount required, Stamp Duty tax relief available and property prices. By combining these and converting to a score out of ten, the index was created.

Liverpool Data

The average first-time buyer in Liverpool needs a deposit of £18,320. This is based on 15% of the property’s value at £122,137. As a comparison, Manchester first-time buyers need an average deposit of £25,314 on property costing £168,761.

However, Manchester is still very much affordable when compared with the south of the country. London is unsurprisingly at the bottom of the index and shows that a first0time buyer would need to get a deposit together of £77,727 and expect to pay about£518,178 for a property.

Unaffordable Areas

As well as London, areas like Cambridge are out of reach to most first-time buyers. An average deposit in Cambridge equates to £65,716 for a property cost of £438,109. Brighton, Colchester and Reading are the other cities in the bottom five of the index.

Northern Cities More Viable

Recent research shows that northern cities have the most viable options for first0time buyers in this country. Liverpool is particularly popular with first-time buyers as it offers a modern city with plenty of redevelopment, investment and restructuring, as well as a buoyant job market and affordable property.

It’s difficult for people in the south to get on the property ladder at all, and we expect to see northern cities continue to rise in the rankings.

How Much Is The Housing Market In Leeds Worth?

Leeds City Centre Birds Eye View

A recent survey focusing on property values shows that the housing market in Leeds is worth around £59.05 billion. If that wasn’t impressive enough, the key takeaway from the survey is that the market is up 4.2% on 2017.

Survey By Zoopla

How Much Is The Housing Market In Leeds Worth? Aspen Woolf

Clarence Dock, Leeds

Zoopla’s annual survey analyses ten of the largest cities in the UK to determine how much each housing market is worth. This year’s puts Leeds in at number nine in the top 10.

The information analysed by Zoopla shows how buoyant the property market is in Leeds, and that properties are continuing to be in high demand as we move through 2018.

By Postcode

Breaking the results down by postcode showed that properties in the LS17 sector are worth about £6.4 billion in total. This postcode includes areas such as East Keswick, Alwoodley, Eccup and Bardsey. This valuation is up 5.6% on last year’s results.

An estate agent responsible for Leeds and Harrogate for online estate agent Purple Bricks said: “A lot of people won’t put their property on the market until they’ve found somewhere to go to. Areas such as Roundhay and Chapel Allerton are examples of this. As a result, Leeds has become more of a sellers’ market, which is why prices may have gone up slightly and there aren’t that many properties on the market. Any property between £100,000 and £400,000 that comes to market and is priced correctly will usually sell quite quickly.”

South Leeds On The Up

Areas within the LS26 postcode are also rising in popularity, according to the survey. Places like Rothwell, Oulton and Woodlesford are part of a buzzing property market, thanks to fair prices, fewer properties on the market and excellent transport links via train or to the M1 and M62.

The Brexit Effect

It’s not surprising that investor focus is moving away from London and to regional areas around the UK. And the Northern Powerhouse initiative has further boosted the credibility of cities such as Leeds as a property hotspot.

As prices fall in the capital, first-time buyers and property portfolio investors alike are moving to new areas. Increased investment in Leeds city centre has greatly improved the job market and encouraged a new wave of interested property investors.

Getting On The Ladder

How Much Is The Housing Market In Leeds Worth? Aspen Woolf

The advice for those looking to secure their first property is to utilise schemes such as Help to Buy. And for those considering a move, now is a great time. Getting your property valued as soon as possible and taking the initiative while the Leeds property market is rising, is a good move.

There’s no doubt that the Leeds property market has been riding high over the last year or so, and it’s going to be fascinating to watch it continue to climb the rankings. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t stay buoyant and continue to be an excellent option for first time buyers and investors.

Annual Percentage Growth

Below is a list of the annual percentage growth in property value, according to Zoopla’s research. In brackets you’ll see the most popular areas in each city.

  • London – 1.54%
  • Bristol – 3.8%
  • Glasgow – 5.38%
  • Birmingham – 4.08%
  • Manchester – 4.49%
  • Edinburgh – 4.04%
  • Nottingham – 3.69%
  • Reading – 2.37%
  • Leeds, 4.2%
  • Sheffield – 5.63%.