Welcome to July’s local housing market update. Once again we focus on LA1 as we let you know what is happening in the local housing market. This month I wanted to begin highlighting what is happening nationally. I think it’s important we are all aware of this and it is worth keeping a watchful eye on.
Activity is at a low with RICS reporting the lowest level of property transactions in the past 16 months. The Telegraph has described the housing market as fragile whilst the Halifax, one of the UK’s biggest lenders has described it as flat - especially when it comes to house price growth. Foxtons in London - one the cities largest estate agents has announced a £2.5 million loss and Countrywide are asking it’s investors for a £100 million lifeline after its shares dropped to just 51p ( they were once at a high of 704p ).
The question is - Is Brexit starting to give people a cause for concern?
In Lancaster, namely LA1 the market is very mixed and paints a slightly different story to other parts of the UK. Our data is taken from Rightmove and Zoopla - the UKS two largest property portals.
How many houses actually sold in July in LA1?
In July 2018, 75 properties sold ( SSTC ). This was 4 short of July 2017 and just 14 less than the month previous. This equates to a 16% drop month on month. Other parts of the Uk are reporting a slump of over 20%.
However, July has often been one of the quieter months for property sales. The start of the school holidays come into play and to be it quite frankly, buyers priorities change with house hunting plans getting delayed due to the start of the holidays. Even the RAC announced the weekend of July 20th as one of the busiest on the roads for leisure! Add to this, people feeling lethargic with the weather, the World Cup and Lancaster, all of sudden didn’t perform too badly!
July’s breakdown is as follows
Up to £125,000 27 properties sold
£125,001 - £250,000 38 properties sold
£250,001 - £500,000 9 properties sold
Above £500,000 1
What happened to the higher end sales?
In June we reported that the price category above £250,000 was outperforming other price sectors in the market, yet July saw this change with an activity drop of almost 45%. A key reason is that many of Lancaster's higher earners who move for job relocation have now already made their move with university job starts happening soon. Again school holidays come into play as wealthier families exit the city at the start of the summer season.
What about the lower end of the market?
The lower end of the market is still suffering in Lancaster with a shortage of first-time buyers. It feels many first time buyers are opting to choose to use the Help To Buy Scheme where they can put down a 5% deposit, get a 20% interest-free loan over 5 years and get a brand new home in the process. Compare this to a 2-bed terrace home with a small backyard needing some TLC and all of a sudden - you can actually understand why. This scheme, of course, won’t last forever!
What type of property sold?
44% of all property sales in LA1 were July - but as we have discussed previously Lancaster is a terraced city. Interestingly the 2nd most popular performing was the apartment ( last month it was the semi-detached home ). 85% of the property sales in LA1 1 were actually apartments. It seems the apartment is currently the preferred choice of the property investor! Sales of semi-detached and detached homes fell further, detached home sales in June were 12, in July it was just 5 which adds more weight to the school holiday theory.
Back on a positive note at JDG many of our clients had great selling success. Patterdale Road, Highmount House and Hartington Street all sold in just 24 hours of hitting the market. St Pauls Road was a huge success, having been previously listed with two agents - it sold in days and for the full asking price too!
Sales by house type
Flats / Apartments 18
Sales by area
Once again LA1 3, was the most popular selling area of the city. This is the area of the city that covers Freehold, Ridge, Moorlands and Primrose. Half of all the property sales in this area were terrace homes,
LA1 1 13 (11 were apartments)
LA1 2 11 (5 semi-detached homes)
LA1 3 22 (11 were terraces)
LA1 4 18 (8 were terraces)
LA1 5 11 (7 were terraces)
16 different estate agents were involved with the 75 property sales across LA1 in July. At JDG we agreed 20 of these sales ( 26.6% ). Online estate agents accounted for just two of the sales in July. If you would like to keep up to date with happenings in the Lancaster Housing Market, check out our website at www.jdg.co.uk