Current UK property news is dominated by the continuing strength of the market, with big increases noted in house sales, rents, property at the seaside and homes outside the capital.
An exception to the news about a resurgent property market is a headline about a spat between the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) and the housing charity Shelter, with the former accusing the charity of “scaremongering”.
Landlords slam Shelter scaremongering
In a press release on the 27th of April the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) took exception to claims in recent research by the housing charity Shelter about the volume of repossessions in the private rented sector.
The public disagreement arises against the background of government plans to abolish Section 21 – so-called “no-fault” – evictions by landlords. The NRLA accuses Shelter of scaremongering in its condemnation of that means of repossession and wants to reassure readers that most tenancies end through other means. Fewer than 10% are the result of landlords asking tenants to leave.
In the light of the impending abolition of Section 21, the NRLA asks Shelter to work cooperatively with it in finding a fair and balanced alternative.
Property asking prices up £35,650 in a year
The average asking price of a home for sale has gone up by £35,650 – an increase of almost 10% - in the past 12 months.
Citing figures released by the online listings website Rightmove, the Daily Mail on the 25th of April, highlighted the annual increase in asking prices but warned that the upward trend is likely to tail off as inflation and the general increase in the cost of living begin to take hold.
While April marked the third consecutive month of record asking prices, they are already beginning to tail off somewhat. Nevertheless, 53% of homes on the market continue to achieve more than the original asking price – the highest such proportion ever recorded.
Market Boom - forecast rents could rise by up to £1,500 next year
Just as the boom in property prices reaches a crescendo, rents in the private sector are also enjoying a notable resurgence following the stagnation endured during successive pandemic lockdowns.
Landlord Today on the 28th of April spoke about average rents in some parts of the UK increasing by up to £800 a year – and in some places by even more than that.
Average rents across the UK are now £12,936 a year – an increase of £1,032 compared with the same time last year. But forecasts show that even this average could increase by a further £803 during the coming year.
As a result, average rents are expected to rise to £13,739 within the next 12 months.
A new wave of seaside hotspots
Homeworking and the current “race for space” mean that once tired and dilapidated coastal resorts are enjoying a rejuvenation, according to a story in the Daily Mail on the 23rd of April.
Seaside towns benefitting from a new lease of life include Worthing in West Sussex – as a more alternative to the expensive properties in trendier Brighton; the “retro-charm” of Clevedon near Bristol; and a rediscovered affection for the North Yorkshire seaside resort of Scarborough where a semi-detached home can be bought for as cheaply as £195,000.
The revitalisation of previously genteel retreats for elderly retirees has also given the south coast resort of Bournemouth a new sense of direction as a high-tech hub for start-up businesses.
The 15 most expensive areas to buy a home in the UK outside London
In a similar vein, a story in the Express newspaper on the 25th of April identified the leading hotspots outside of London where homes are currently in high demand.
All of the current hotspots are within the well-established commuter belt for the capital and the top ten locations include:
- Virginia Water, Surrey – where you’ll need to find an average of £1.6 million to buy a home;
- Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire – where the average price is £1.2 million;
- Cobham, Surrey – where the average home also costs around £1.2 million;
- Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire – also has homes costing an average of £1.2 million;
- Esher, Surrey – £1.1 million;
- Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire – where the average price is £1,062,132;
- Radlett, Hertfordshire – where you’ll need an average of £1,041,176 to buy your home;
- Hartfield, East Sussex – with its average price ticket of £1,020,780;
- Brockenhurst, Hampshire, in the New Forest – where the average home currently sells for £1,001,741; and
- Weybridge, Surrey – one of the longest established commuter suburbs, where you’ll pay an average of £996,601 for your home.
There will probably be few surprises in this top ten of property hotspots outside the capital but close enough for an easy commute into London.