Yearly Archives: 2017

Market Research

Buying a Leasehold Property – What You Need to Know

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Did you know that four in 10 new properties in England and Wales are now sold as leasehold, ranging from one bedroom flats in city centres, to four bedroom detached homes in rural areas?

Before you buy a leasehold property, it is important to be aware of what your lease includes and understand any charges you may face when buying a leasehold home.

What is the Difference Between a Leasehold and a Freehold?

If you own the freehold to your home, it means that you own the building and the land it sits on. If your property is leasehold, you hold the property on behalf of the freeholder and rent the home until your lease expires. Leases are usually long term – often 90+ years, however some developers have sold homes with leases as high as 999 years.

What is Ground Rent?

Ground rent is an annual charge which the leaseholder must pay to the owner of the freehold. This is often a fixed sum however your lease may contain a clause which allows the landlord to increase the cost payable every five to eight years from the date of build.

Your agent, conveyancer or solicitor should be able to advise if there are any rent review clauses in your lease and check what this would mean for you. The costs of the ground rent may be negotiable so make sure to check this with your agent or the developer if you are buying a new build.

Why Do I Have to Pay a Service Charge?

A service charge is a fee that is payable by all residents which contributes towards the upkeep of the building. This could include cleaning of communal areas, upkeep of outdoor spaces and general maintenance. Generally, the fee payable is fixed however this may change year on year.

Make sure you ask your conveyancer or solicitor to explain all charges fully and enquire as to whether the lease administrator has any plans for works which you will be responsible to pay for.

Why Would I Be Asked to Pay an Administration Fee?

Administration charges are payments for services connected with your buying, selling or use of the property; they can include anything from charges for document applications to exit fees. The costs of any administration fees should be expressed in your lease agreement however your conveyancer or solicitor should be able to review your lease and advise you accordingly.

What Should My Agent Be Telling Me?

Your estate agent should pass on all material information in respect of the lease. This would include, but is not limited to;
  • The number of years remaining on the lease
  • Ground rent costs and when it is payable, together with details of if or how this will increase over time
  • The annual service charge costs and when it is payable
  • Details of any event-related fees & charges payable under the lease
  • Rent payable in the case of a shared ownership arrangement
  • Details of any other fees or charges contained in the lease
  • Details of any unusual restrictions or covenants affecting the use and enjoyment of the property

Keep in mind that estate agents are not solicitors, if you are concerned about any aspect of your contract or your lease, speak to an impartial solicitor.

What Else Should I Be Aware of When Buying a Leasehold Property?

Developers have been known to sell the freeholds of entire developments to third party companies who then charge escalated fees to the homeowner when they come to purchase the freehold. Spiralling fees and onerous clauses have led to some building societies and banks refusing mortgages on leasehold properties – this can make them very difficult to sell.
Can I Buy the Freehold?
Being able to buy the freehold to your property is not a legal right and the freeholder can choose whether to sell it or not. Before you commit to buying a property, look into who owns the freehold and find out whether it is likely to be sold on and who too. If you are buying a new build, ask the sales office to quote you a price for purchasing the freehold.
If you live in an apartment or large complex, there are steps you can take to purchase your freehold, take a look at our helpful guide on buying the freehold to your flat.
Read Your Contract Carefully
Some leases have clauses which obstruct your use of the property and some restrictions are not always obvious. Read your lease carefully and if you are unsure of anything, speak to your solicitor immediately. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what you are entering in to, how much you will be expected to pay on an annual basis and if there are due to be any increases.
Market Research

Doncaster Rents To Rise Quicker Than Doncaster Property Prices In Next 5 Years

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The next five years will see an interesting change in the Doncaster property market. My recent research has concluded that the rent private tenants pay in Doncaster will rise faster than Doncaster property prices over the next five years, creating further issues to Doncaster’s growing multitude of renters. In fact, my examination of statistics forecasts that ..

 By 2022, Doncaster rents will increase by 21%, whereas Doncaster property values will only grow by 16%.

Let me explain why I have come to those conclusions:

Over the last five years, property values in Doncaster have risen by 11%, whilst rents have only risen by 7.8%.

Throughout the last few years, and compounded in 2016, tenant demand for rental properties continued to go up whilst the Press predicted some landlords expect to reduce their portfolios in the next couple of years, meaning Doncaster tenants will have fewer properties to choose from, which will push rents higher. In fact, talking to fellow property professionals in Doncaster, there appears to be privation and shortage of new rental properties coming on to the Doncaster lettings market.

Landlords have some intriguing challenges ahead of them in the coming years most notably in that the Tory’s have changed the taxation rules for landlords in the way buy to let properties are to be taxed. On top of that, there is the ban on letting agent fees which is still to come into force (probably in 2018). When that happened in Scotland in 2012, Scottish letting agents passed on those fees to their landlords, who in turn increased the rent they charged to their tenants.

All I would say to Theresa May and Philip Hammond is that they must be wary about indicating both red and green lights at the same time to the private rented sector. They can’t expect the armies of small private landlords to continue to house around a fifth of the population and then tax the hell out of them. They didn’t invest in buy to let as a charity or to satisfy any philanthropic urges. Something has to give – and that will be significant rent rises over the coming few years (and before anyone gives me any derogatory comments about landlords … if it wasn’t for landlords buying all these buy to let properties over the last 15 years, I am not sure where everyone would be living today – because most the Council houses were sold off in the 1980’s!).

With the challenges ahead, with the ‘B’ word (that’s budget if you wondered!), house price inflation will be tempered over the coming five years in Doncaster. As I have discussed in previous articles, the number of properties on the market in Doncaster remains close to historic lows, which is both good as it keeps houses prices relatively stable, yet not so good as it impedes choice for buyers… and hence why I believe property values in Doncaster will only be 16% higher in five years’ time.

Whilst on the other side of the coin, with the challenges facing landlords and the significant shortage of new homes being built, Doncaster people still need somewhere to live. If those people aren’t buying houses and the local authority aren’t building council houses in there thousands (because they have no money), with the average rent for a Doncaster rental property currently standing at £455 per month …

Over the next five years, I predict the average rent
in Doncaster will rise to £550 per month

These are interesting times. There is still money to be made in buy to let in Doncaster – Doncaster landlords will just need to be smarter and more savvy with their investments. If you are looking for such advice and opinion to help you meet those investment goals, one place you can find more information is the Doncaster Property Blog.

Market Research

Only 891 Properties For Sale in Doncaster

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2017 has started with some positive interest in the Doncaster property market.  Taking a snap shot of the Doncaster property market for the first quarter of 2017, the picture suggests some interesting trends when it comes to the number of properties available to buy, their asking prices and what prices properties are actually selling for.

Let us first consider the number of properties for sale, compared to 12 months ago:


Next, Doncaster asking prices, compared 
So when we add in building plots and other types of properties that don’t fit into the four main categories, that means there are 891 properties for sale today compared with 885 a year ago, a rise of 1%.

to the same as a year ago, are 4% higher.

With that in mind, I wanted to look at what property was actually selling for in Doncaster. Taking my information from the Land Registry, the last available six months property transactions for DN4 show an interesting picture (note the Land Registry data is always a few months behind due to the nature of the house buying process and so November 2016 is latest set of data). The price shown is the average price paid and the number in brackets is the number of properties actually sold.

Well, with more property on the market than a year ago and asking prices 4% higher, those trying to sell their property need to be mindful that buyers, be they first timers, buy to let landlords or people moving up the Doncaster property ladder, have much more price information about the Doncaster property market at their fingertips than ever before.So what does all this mean for the property owning folk of Doncaster?

Those Doncaster people who are looking to sell their property in 2017, need to be aware of the risks of over pricing their property when initially placing it on the market. Over the last 12 months, I have noticed the approach of a few Doncaster estate agents is to suggest an inflated asking price to encourage the homeowner and secure the property to sell on their books. The down side to this is that when offered to the market for the first time, buyers will realise it is overpriced and wont waste their time asking for a brochure. They won’t even view the property, let alone make an offer. So when the price is reduced a few months later, the property has become market stale and continues to be ignored.

Whilst the Doncaster property-market has an unassailable demand for property – there is one saying that always rings true – as long as the property is being marketed at the right price it will sell.

 If you want to know if your Doncaster property is being marketed at the right price, send me a web link and I will give you my honest opinion.

Market Research

Doncaster’s housing affordability hits a ratio of 5.16 to 1

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A Doncaster homeowner emailed me last week, following my article posted in the Doncaster Property Blog about the change in attitude to renting by the youngsters of Doncaster and how they thought it was too expensive for first time buyers to buy in Doncaster.  There can be no doubt that buy to let landlords have played their part in driving up property values in Doncaster (and the UK) and from that made housing a lot less affordable for the 20 and 30 somethings of Doncaster.

In the email, they said they thought the plight of the first-time buyers in Doncaster was like a novice tennis player, playing tennis with Andy Murray. If you played him once you will unquestionably lose and if you were to play him 100 times you would lose 100 times. That is what they thought it was like for all the 20 something’s first time buyers of Doncaster going against all the buy to let landlords.

They went on and asked if the Bank of England (BoE) should be tasked to control house price inflation in the same way as the BoE controls inflation.  The BoE has a target for the annual inflation rate of the Consumer Prices Index of 2%, whilst it is also required to support the Government’s economic policy, including its objectives for growth and employment.  So, should BoE be charged with containing buy to let housing market, by possibly changing the rules on the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio’s?

So, let’s look at how affordable Doncaster is?  The best measure of the affordability of housing is the ratio of Doncaster Property Prices to Doncaster Average Wages, (the higher the ratio, the less affordable properties are).   (i.e. looking at the table below, for example in 2014, the average value of a Doncaster property was 4.85 times higher than the average annual wage in Doncaster.)


… but it’s not the only reason.This deterioration in affordability of property in Doncaster over the last couple of years has been one of the reasons why the younger generation is deciding more and more to rent instead of buy their own house.

A quick look on Money Supermarket today found 169 lenders prepared to offer 75% LTV Buy to let Mortgages and none at 85% LTV.  Lenders have self-imposed a high level of entry for buy to let landlords (i.e. putting down at least 25% of the purchase price in cash).  The BoE don’t need to meddle there!  Also, the Tories have certainly done lots to level the playing field in favour of first time buyers.  For nearly a year now, Landlords have had to pay an additional 3% in stamp duty on any buy to let purchase and over the coming four years, tax rules on landlord’s claiming mortgage interest relief will affect their pocket.  Neither, it doesn’t help that the local Authority sold off council houses in the Thatcher years and so for many on low incomes or with little capital, owning a home has simply never been an option (today or in the past).

It’s easy to look at the headlines and blame landlords.  First time buyers have been able to access 95% LTV mortgages since 2010, meaning even today, a first-time buyer could purchase a 3 bed semi in Doncaster for around £100,000 and only need to find £5,000 deposit.  Yes, a lot of money, but first time buyers need to decide what is important to them.  Either save up for a couple of years to save the deposit and go without two annual foreign holidays, the full Satellite or Cable TV package with Sports and Movies costing three figures a month, the latest mobile phone and out socialising … or not as the case maybe?

I think we as a Country have changed … renting is returning to be the norm.  So my opinion is, landlords have it tough.  Let’s not blame them for the ‘perceived’ woes of the nation … because to be frank … we haven’t always been a country of homeowners.  Roll the clock back to 1964, and nationally, 30% of people rented their home from a private landlord – today – its only 15.3% nationally.

If you are an existing landlord or someone thinking of become a first-time landlord looking for advice and opinion and what (or what not to buy in Doncaster), one source of information is the Doncaster Property Blog

Market Research

‘Flipping’ Heck – Doncaster Property Values Rise by £15.18 a day

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Investing in Doncaster buy to let property is different from investing in the stock market or depositing your hard-earned cash in the Building Society. When you invest your money in the Building Society, this is considered by many as the safe option but the returns you can achieve are awfully low (the best 2-year bond rate from Nationwide is a whopping 0.75% a year!). Another investment is the Stock Market, which can give good returns, but unless you are on the phone every day to your Stockbroker, most people invest in stock market funds, making the investment quite hands off and one always has the feeling of not being in control.

However, with buy to let, things can be more hands on. One of the things many landlords like is the tactile nature of property – the fact that you can touch the bricks and mortar. It is this factor that attracts many of Doncaster’s landlords – they are making their own decisions rather than entrusting them to city whizz kids in Canary Wharf playing roulette with their savings.

I always say investing in property is a long-term game. When you invest in the property market, you can earn from your investment in two ways. When a property increases in value over time, it is known as ‘capital growth’. Capital growth, also known as capital appreciation, has been strong in recent times in Doncaster, but the value of property does go up as well as down just like shares do but the initial purchase price rarely decreases.  Rental income is what the tenant pays you – hopefully this will also grow over time. If you divide the annual rent into the value (or purchase price) of the property, this is your yield, or annual return. So, over the last 5 years, an average Doncaster property has risen by £27,700 (equivalent to £15.18 a day), taking it to a current average value of £151,000. Yields range from 5% a year and can reach double digits’ percentages (although to achieve those sorts of returns, the risks are higher).

However, something I haven’t spoken of before is the more specialist area of flipping property to make money. (flipping – buying a property, carrying out some minor cosmetics and re selling it quickly).  I have seen several investors recently who have made decent returns from this strategy. For example …

This demonstrates how the Doncaster property market has not only provided very strong returns for the average investor over the last five years but how it has permitted a group of motivated buy to let Doncaster landlords and investors to become particularly wealthy.

As my article mentioned a few weeks ago, more and more Doncaster people may be giving up on owning their own home and are instead accepting long term renting whilst buy to let lending continues to grow from strength to strength. If you want to know what (and what would not) make a decent buy to let property in Doncaster, then one place for such information would be the Doncaster Property Blog.

Market Research

How The Rented Sector Has Transformed The Property Market In Doncaster

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The Doncaster housing market has gone through a sea change in the past decades with the Buy-to-Let (B-T-L) sector evolving as a key trend, for both Doncaster tenants and Doncaster landlords.

A few weeks ago, the Government released a White Paper on housing. I have had a chance now to digest the report and wish to offer my thoughts on the topic. It was interesting that the private rental sector played a major part in the future plans for housing. This is especially important for our growing Doncaster population.

In 1981, the population of the Doncaster council area stood at 290,800 and today it stands at 304,800.

Currently, the private rented (B-T-L) sector accounts for 18.2% of households in the town.  The Government want to assist people living in the houses and help the economy by encouraging the provision of quality homes, in a housing sector that has grown due to worldwide economic forces, pushing home ownership out of the reach of more and more people. Interestingly, when we look at the 1981 figures for homeownership, a different story is told.

53.17% Doncaster people owned their own home in 1981
37.02% Doncaster people rented from the Council or Housing Association in 1981
and 9.8% Doncaster rented from a Private Landlord

The significance of a suitable housing policy is vital to ensure suitable economic activity and create a vibrant place people want to live in. With the population of the Doncaster area set to grow to 313,000 by 2037 – it is imperative that Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and Central Government all work actively together to ensure the residential property market doesn’t hold the area back, by encouraging the building and provision of quality homes for its inhabitants.

One idea the Government has proclaimed is a variety of measures aimed at encouraging the Build-to-Rent (B-T-R) sector (instead of the B-T-L sector). These include allowing local authorities to proactively plan for B-T-R schemes, and making it simpler for B-T-R developers to offer inexpensive private rented homes.

To do this, the government will invent a distinct affordable housing class for B-T-R, called ‘Affordable Private Rent’, which will oblige new homes builders to provide at least 1 in 5 of a new home developments at a 20% discount on open-market rents and three year tenancies for tenants. In return, the new homebuilders will get better planning assurances.

Private landlords will not be expected to offer discounts, nor offer 3-year tenancies – but it is something Doncaster landlords need to be aware of as there will be greater competition for tenants.

Over the last ten years, home ownership has not been a primary goal for young adults as the world has changed. These youngsters expect ‘on demand’ services from click and collect, Amazon, Dating Apps and TV with the likes of Netflix. Many Doncaster youngsters see that renting more than meets their accommodation needs, as it combines the freedom from a lifetime of property maintenance and financial obligations, making it an attractive lifestyle option.

Private rented housing in Doncaster, be it B-T-L or B-T-R, has the prospective to play a very positive role.

Market Research

Doncaster First Time Buyers borrow £177.2m in the last 12 months

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Starting with the bigger picture, over the last 12 months in the UK, 1,061,557 properties were sold with a total value of £223.74 bn. To give that some context, ten years ago 1,581,727 properties sold with a total value of £405.56bn, so it can be seen the number of people moving house has dropped by over a third over the last decade.

Whether you are a landlord, homeowner or tenant, it’s always important to keep an eye on the Doncaster property market, not just from your point of view, but also from every player’s point of view. Over the last 12 months, 3,688 properties have sold (and completed) in Doncaster, worth £544.3m. Interestingly the number of properties changing hands in Doncaster has also dropped when compared to a decade ago.

It might surprise you that first time buyers in 2017 will benefit from a slight decline in Doncaster buy-to-let investors.

Those looking to buy a home in the spring and summer of 2017 will face a far less competitive Doncaster property market than the same time of year in 2016, when the urgency to beat the buy-to-let stamp duty hike was in full swing.

Many landlords brought forward their purchases to beat the tax, and since then, the number of buy-to-let purchases has dropped slightly. First time buyers have taken advantage of that and have increased their buying. In fact, looking at the Bank of England figures, this is what UK lenders have lent on buy-to-let properties versus first time buyers over the last 12 months  …


When looking at the figures for Doncaster itself, first time buyers have borrowed more than £177.2m in the last 12 months to buy their first home. This is a ringing endorsement of their confidence in their jobs and the local Doncaster economy. Those 20 and 30 something’s who are considering being first time buyers in 2017 will find that the number of properties on the market has never been as good as it has for quite a while, meaning you have more choice of properties and less competition from so many buy-to-let landlords than a year ago.

Rightmove announced nationally that new seller enquiries are 26% up on the same time last year giving the stoutest indication that we may see a slight ease in the lack of properties on the market. When I look at Doncaster, at this moment in time there are 902 properties for sale, compared to 880 properties a year ago. All this will be welcome news amongst Doncaster first-time buyers with a combination of a proportional reduction in new investors and landlords.

2017 will be an interesting year for all homeowners, be they buy-to-let landlords, existing homeowners or future homeowners.  For more thoughts on the Doncaster property market like this, you might want to visit the Doncaster Property Market Property Blog

Market Research

With 20,060 people in Private Rented Properties in Doncaster – Should you still be investing in Doncaster Buy To Let?

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If I were a buy to let landlord in Doncaster today, I might feel a little bruised by the assault made on my wallet after being (and continuing to be) ransacked over the last 12 months by HM Treasury’s tax changes on buy to let. To add insult to injury, Brexit has caused a tempering of the Doncaster property market with property prices not increasing by the levels we have seen in the last few years. I think we might even see a very slight drop in property prices this year and, if Doncaster property prices do drop, the downside to that is that first time buyers could be attracted back into the Doncaster property market; meaning less demand for renting (meaning rents will go down). Yet, before we all run for the hills, all these things could be serendipitous to every Doncaster landlord, almost a blessing in disguise.

Doncaster has a population of 108,215, so when I looked at the number of people who lived in private rented accommodation, the numbers astounded me …

Yields will rise if Doncaster property prices fall, which will also make it easier to obtain a buy to let mortgage, as the income would cover more of the interest cost. If property values were to level off or come down that could help Doncaster landlords add to their portfolio. Rental demand in Doncaster is expected to stay solid and may even see an improvement if uncertainty is protracted. However, there is something even more important that Doncaster landlords should be aware of: the change in the anthropological nature of these 20 something potential first time buyers.

I have just come back from a visit to my friend’s relations after a family get together. I got chatting with my friend’s nephew and his partner.  Both are in their mid/late twenties, both have decent jobs in Doncaster and they rent. Yet, here was the bombshell, they were planning to rent for the foreseeable future with no plans to even save for a deposit, let alone buy a property. I enquired why they weren’t planning to buy? The answers surprised me as a mature person, and it will you. Firstly, they don’t want to put cash into property, they would rather spend it on living and socialising by going on nice holidays and buying the latest tech and gadgets. They want the flexibility to live where they choose and finally, they don’t like the idea of paying for repairs. All their friends feel the same. I was quite taken aback that buying a house is just not top of the list for these youngsters.

So, as 18.5% of Doncaster people are in rented accommodation and as that figure is set to grow over the next decade, now might just be a good time to buy property in Doncaster – because what else are you going to invest in?  Give your money to the stock market run by sharp suited city whizz kids – because at least with property – it’s something you can touch – there is nothing like bricks and mortar!

For more views and opinions on the Doncaster Property Market – visit the Doncaster Property Market Blog

Market Research

421 Doncaster Households Occupied by OAP Renters

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Recent statistics published by the Office of National Statistics show that there are 267,704 private rented households in the Country that are occupied by people aged 65 and older, meaning 4.39% of OAP’s are living in private rented property.
It got me thinking two things. How many of these OAP’s have always rented and how many have sold up and become a tenant?  In retirement, selling up could make financial sense to the mature generation in Doncaster, potentially allowing them to liquidate the equity of their main home to enhance their retirement income.  I wanted to know why these older people rent and whether there was opportunity for the buy to let landlords of Doncaster?

The Prudential published a survey recently that said nearly six out of ten OAP renters had never owned a home.  Two out of ten OAP renters were required to sell up because of debt, just about one in ten OAP renters sold their property to use the money to fund their retirement and the remaining one out ten OAP renters, rented for other reasons.

Funding retirement is important as the life expectancy of someone from Doncaster at age 65 (years) is 17.7 years for males and 20.1 years for females (interesting when compared to the National Average of 18.7 years for males and 21.1 years for females).  The burdens of financing a long retirement are being felt by many mature people of Doncaster.  The state of play is not helped by rising living costs and ultra-low interest rates reducing returns for savers.

So, what of Doncaster?  Of the 11,801 households in Doncaster, whose head of the household is 65 or over, not surprisingly 8,214 of households were owned (69.60%) and 2,703 (22.90%) were in social housing.  However, the figure that fascinated me was the 421 (3.57%) households that were in privately rented properties.

Anecdotal evidence, by talking to both my team and other Doncaster property professionals is that this figure is rising.  More and more Doncaster OAP’s are selling their large Doncaster homes and renting something more manageable, allowing them to release all of their equity from their old home.  This equity can be gifted to grandchildren (allowing them to get on the property ladder), invested in plans that produce a decent income and while living the life they want to live.

These Doncaster OAP renters know they have a fixed monthly expenditure and can budget accordingly with the peace of mind that their property maintenance and the upkeep of the buildings are included in the rent.  Many landlords will also include gardening in the rent! Renting is also more adaptable to the trials of being an OAP – the capability to move at short notice can be convenient for those moving into nursing homes, and it doesn’t leave family members panicking to sell the property to fund care-home fees.

Doncaster landlords should seriously consider low maintenance semi-detached bungalows on decent bus routes and close to doctor’s surgeries as a potential investment strategy to broaden their portfolio.  Get it right and you will have a wonderful tenant, who if the property offers everything a mature tenant wants and needs, will pay top dollar in rent!

Market Research

Doncaster Unemployment Drops to 6.2% and its effect on the Doncaster Property Market

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It was late May 2016, The Right Hon. Member for Tatton, Mr George Osborne, published an official HM Treasury analysis stating UK house prices would be lower by at least 10% (and up to 18%) by the middle of 2018 compared with what is expected if the UK remained in the European Union. So, eight months on from the Referendum, are we beginning to show signs of that prophecy? The simple answer is yes and no.

Good barometers of the housing market are the share prices of the big UK builders. Much was made of Barratt’s share price dropping by 42.5% in the two weeks after Brexit, along with Taylor Wimpey’s equally eye watering drop in the same two weeks by 37.9%. Looking at the most recent set of data from the Land Registry, property values in Doncaster are only 0.77% up month on month (and the month before that, they had decreased by 0.03%) – so is this the time to panic and run for the hills?

Doom and Gloom then? Well, let me consider the other side of the coin.

Well, as I have spoken about many times in my blog, it is dangerous to look at short term. I have mentioned in several recent articles, the heady days of the Doncaster property prices rising quicker than a thermometer in the desert sun between the years 2011 and late 2016 are long gone – and good riddance. Yet it might surprise you during those impressive years of house price growth, the growth wasn’t smooth and all upward. Doncaster property values dropped by an eye watering 2.88% in March 2013 and 2.46% in January 2015 – and no one batted an eyelid then.

You see, property values in Doncaster are still 5.72% higher than a year ago, meaning the average value of a Doncaster property today is £152,200. Even the shares of those new home builders Barratt have increased by 43.3% since early July and Taylor Wimpey’s have increased by 37.3%. The Office for Budget Responsibility, the Government Spending Watchdog, recently revised down its forecast for house-price growth in the coming years – but only slightly.

The Doncaster housing market has been steadfast partly because, so far at least, the wider economy has performed better than expected since Brexit. There is a robust link between the unemployment rate and property prices, and a flimsier one with wage growth. Unemployment in the Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council area stands at 9,300 people (6.2%), which is considerably better than a few years ago in 2013 when there were 15,500 people unemployed (10.7%) in the same council area.

However, inflation is the only thing that does worry me. Looking at all the pundits, it will get to at least 3% (if not more) in the latter part of 2017 as the drop in Sterling in late 2016 renders our imports with higher prices. If that transpires then the Bank of England, whose target for inflation is 2%, may raise interest rates from 0.25% to 2%+. However, that won’t be so much of an issue as 81.6% of new mortgages in the UK in the last two years have been fixed-rate and who amongst us can remember 1992 with Interest rates of 15%!

Forget Brexit and yes inflation will be a thorn in the side – but the greatest risk to the Doncaster (and British) property market is that there are simply not enough properties being built thus keeping house prices artificially high. Good news for those on the property ladder, but not for those first-time buyers that aren’t! In the coming weeks in my articles on the Doncaster Property Market, I will discuss this matter further!