Working from home is driving up property prices
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Working from home is driving up property prices across the North of England

During the pandemic, buyers fled the city in search for more space and settled into their new home offices in the countryside in an effort to break away from the hustle and bustle.

Fast forward to two years later and working from home remains a new normal, but the density of buyers in rural locations has diffused back into the North, with hybrid-remote work drawing commuters back to their offices a few days a week, and full time remote-workers in need of better reception.

Property prices in UK cities have surged at a higher rate than the rest of the country, with demand pushing prices up by 9.2% since the start of the year to an average of £238,144, compared to 7.9% in surrounding areas.*

Average house prices in the UK hit a new record last year, with the North East seeing double-digit growth, according to the Nationwide Building Society house price index*. The average cost of a house in the region is now £164,000, which is 14.3% more than in October 2021.

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, house prices in the North East have risen by 22.9%. That means, if your house was worth £200,000 in 2020, it will on average be worth around £246,000 now.*

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “The price of a typical UK home climbed to a new record high of £271,613, with average prices increasing by over £26,000 in the past year.”

The pandemic transformed the UK housing market over the course of UK lockdowns. Homeowners sought out bigger homes with close proximity to outdoor spaces, driving up demand for larger properties outside of the city. This trend accelerated house price growth in rural areas and suburbs, while cities temporarily cooled down.

The end of lockdowns in the UK and the gradual return to the office has hiked up demand for houses in cities, as the ‘race for space’ in the wake of the pandemic has eased.

The North of the UK offers a perfect balance of city and country life, without either one being too far out of reach, which is why buyer demand has seen a rampant return to this part of the country.

This continuous hike in demand is further pushed by a certain ambiguity within the market, similar to that seen during the pandemic. Buyers' uncertainty lies with when interest rates will come back down again, and so despite the impending recession looming, they are keen to implement a move. In some cases, no matter the cost. Overbidding within the market has been as proliferated as the pandemic, but that is starting to wane as the cost-of-living hits home and inflation diminishes any pay rise received. The additional reality that any drop in house prices won’t be felt if your mortgage costs you more, means buyers remain keen to compete to find their perfect home for a better work/life balance, albeit with more conservative funds than before.

Get in touch with your local Whitegates branch for more information today!

*Nationwide Building Society House Price Index

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