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Yorkshire Property Market Predictions

September 2021

Well it has certainly been quite a year so far in the property market – especially in Yorkshire. Continued stories of ferocious competition, block viewing days, best and final offers, gazumping and there doesn’t seem to be much let up.

As we came out of the lockdown earlier in the year, the market immediately (and as predicted) got straight back up to speed. We then had the Chancellor’s ‘brain wave’ of the SDLT holiday. This sent market activity into the stratosphere and I have never experienced anything like it after 19 years in the industry.

Whilst the SDLT break certainly poured rocket-grade fuel on an already lively marketplace, it isn’t the only reason for the exponential activity we have seen recently.

The positives out of Covid (there really are some!) forced buyers to analyse what they wanted. No longer did they need to be within striking distance of the office, as they could successfully work remotely and could achieve a better work-life balance as a result. Conversely, it dawned on companies that they could make substantial savings by having a hot-desking workforce, which would help balance the books looking ahead. As such, Yorkshire has been right at the forefront, taking advantage of a new found market. You only need turn on the television to see the vast array of programmes with Yorkshire based titles. Could you say we are the only county with an actual brand?

My thoughts are that this is the start of the wave for Yorkshire and we are widely predicted to be one of the best performing regions in the UK over the next 5 years. Overlay the above points with the Government ‘levelling up initiative’ and we have all the indications that market activity will steadily continue. As such, we are now having money pouring in internationally, plus from London and the Home Counties – helped in part by Channel 4 and The Bank of England having new bases in Leeds, plus Leeds are back in the football premiership. However, let’s not forget that we have a strong local market anyway.

Whilst all of this sounds amazing and don’t get me wrong, it is – I do have some significant concerns that are looming on the near horizon. This centres around the carte-blanche planning approval of these vast new build schemes plaguing our county. Whether it’s Boroughbridge, Killinghall, Cattal, Harrogate or Beckwithshaw as examples, the ‘powers that be’ come across as either not caring or completely oblivious about the wider impact of their decisions. It is a great concern to myself and should be to us all.

As I see it, these out-of-town schemes rarely have any associated sizeable infrastructure improvements. We are already experiencing that our roads, sewers, schools, dentists, doctors and hospitals are screaming out for mercy and that’s before some of these immense schemes are built.

Whilst we are currently riding a wave of amazing success, I hope we don’t end up shooting ourselves in the foot, by our once manageable sized towns being unable to cope and they turn into car parks overnight.

These developments are often a journey into a town. As such, they actually make the existing central town properties even more expensive for our younger buyers. This again goes against what the Government are supposedly trying to achieve. Surely the best way forward (rather than building on our ever shrinking green spaces) is to convert empty units in the town centres into homes and breathe life back into the local economies and we all benefit?

The Yorkshire property market has and continues to be phenomenal. Only collectively can we decide how long this continues.

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