Faster Communications Will Strengthen North Yorkshire Property Market

1st March 2013

It would be naïve to think that there are not challenging times still ahead for the nation’s economy through 2013, however we are already seeing some improvements in the housing market. According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) annual prediction house prices in the UK will see an increase of 2% over the next year, while the cost of renting a home is likely to rise by around 4%.

In addition to rising prices the number of transactions will also see a further increase rising by over 3% to 960,000 from 930,000 in 2012. Although a welcome improvement, to put this in context total sales in 2006 were well above this at 1.67 million.

Here in the north we are fed up of hearing about the prime central market in London and the south east where residential property prices are now significantly higher than they were in 2007. In the short term, it is my opinion that prices in North Yorkshire will continue to remain stable through 2013 and possibly next year as well, but in the medium term they will start to see modest rises. The most encouraging statistics are that as a result of the Funding for Lending Scheme initiative championed by the Government the availability of mortgage finance is now finally reaching the high street. True many first time buyers continue to find it difficult to save the necessary deposit required to take an initial step into the housing market, but consistently low mortgage rates and a more favourable loan to value (LTV) ratio is producing encouraging signs supported by the level of transactions seen through the last Quarter. The RICS UK Housing Market Survey, produced on a monthly basis, suggests that both levels of transactions and property prices will increase at the twelve month horizon.

Looking beyond that, on a regional level, recent communications announcements for both the high speed rail link connecting London to Leeds (HS2) and plans for the A1 motorway upgrade extension from Leeming Bar to Barton (beyond Scotch Corner) will continue to make North Yorkshire a target for those wishing to leave the Capital but continue to enjoy excellent transport links. A train from York to London takes just 1 hour and 45 minutes and is likely to get faster with the completion of HS2 making North Yorkshire an obvious choice for those relocating from London, where in the last five years a city dweller may have seen his home in central London rise by as much as 50% while in the same period North Yorkshire values have slipped by in some cases 15%.

The £314M project to improve the A1 from Leeming Bar to Barton will create continuous motorway from London to Newcastle cutting journey times by about twenty per cent. Construction work should start early next year completely bypassing the area that was so badly flooded in 2012. A completely new drainage system will also ensure that the chaos experienced last year when the road was closed for three continuous days will not occur again. There will be a couple of years of disruption but the controlled speed system employed previously on the stretch between Dishforth and Leeming Bar worked most successfully and should avoid major delays.

This continued investment into the principle communications infrastructure of North Yorkshire will only enhance the desirability of the area making access to this special corner of the UK quicker and simpler. With incomparable value for money in terms of residential property and more and more people able to work remotely from home this has to bode well for the housing market in our area. At last there is reason for optimism and I feel confident that we have now ridden the worst of the storm.

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