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Record number of prospective homebuyers look to affordable North

Record number of prospective homebuyers look to affordable North
Samantha Partington
Written By:
Samantha Partington

House hunters looking for more affordable homes to buy are increasingly heading to the major cities of the North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber.

Prospective homebuyer interest in Leeds, Bradford, Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester, and Sheffield has increased by 67% from April last year, as found by analysis from Twenty7tec, a technology firm that allows brokers to search for mortgage deals.

These cities now account for 11% of all searches carried out by brokers looking for a purchase mortgage for households moving home, a record proportion for Northern cities.

Year to date, the activity in these Northern cities is up 29.5% as a proportion of all searches.

This surge in demand highlights a broader shift in the UK housing market, with more buyers looking beyond the capital for affordable housing opportunities and quality-of-life improvements, according to Twenty7tec.

The stark difference in the regional average asking prices in the Northern regions compared to those in Southern regions is highlighted in Rightmove’s June House Price Index.

In the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East, average house prices are £262,114, £254,020 and £191,996 respectively. By contrast, in the East of England, the average house price is in excess of £420,000, while the average asking price for a property in London and the South East is £695,079 and £495,505 respectively.

Nathan Reilly, director of customer relationships and operations, said: “When we look at purchase searches and compare them to this time last year, we can see just how much the demand for houses in the Northern market has grown. Of all the purchase searches taking place, there’s a higher proportion for the Northern six cities than there’s ever been since we started reporting 10 years ago.”

Analysis of first-time buyer mortgage searches also highlights a trend of favouring Northern cities to set up home for the first time.

“Last month alone, the Northern six activity was up 73% compared to this time last year and, on a year-to-date basis, searches for first-time buyers in the North were up 13.3%,” said Reilly. “This could be due to a number of things: the growth in digital nomads who can now work from anywhere, or simply people are gravitating to the North just to get their foot on the property ladder and away from the renters’ market in London.”

This article features reporting from our sister site, Mortgage Solutions, first published here.