Yearly Archives: 2019

Doncaster Property News

Doncaster Homeowners can now build larger extensions without planning permission.

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The need for more homes has always been one of the biggest issues with regard to the Country’s housing crisis.  One of the main reasons for families wanting to move home is the need for more accommodation as their families grow and so in 2013 and 2015, the planning permission rules were relaxed to try an alleviate this issue.

Initially in 2013, Nick Clegg, as Deputy Prime Mister, brought in temporary planning rules to allow larger single storey rear extensions without the requirement of a full planning application.  The temporary rules allowed terraced and semi-detached homes to be extended by just over 19ft, whilst detached houses were able to add even bigger extensions of up to 24ft.  Since those rules were relaxed six years ago, 109,320 people have taken advantage of the temporary rules (aka “permitted development size guidelines”).

Homeowners wanting to extend within these permitted development guidelines, must still inform the local authority of the extension beforehand, and local authority officials still need to then notify the neighbours.  If the neighbours object, the local authority could still stop the extension being built, but only if it is likely to damage the character or enjoyment of the neighbourhood.  The planning process exists for a reason and whilst these relaxed planning rules are popular with property owners, it does mean local authorities have little chance to deliberate the impact of these extensions on their locality.  However, 22,779 permitted developments had been refused in the same time frame meaning, 17.2% of permitted development planning applications have been refused since 2013.

Now these temporary rules have been made permanent recently as the Government believe these measures will help households extend their properties without fighting through the time-consuming red tape of obtaining planning permission.  The government believes this is part of a package of planning reforms to build more households, build them better, quicker and make the housing market work, meaning families can grow without being forced to sell and move… or does it?

The average size of a property

in Doncaster is 947 sq.ft

.. internally (1,084 sq.ft  externally), whilst to the national average 929 sq.ft internally (1,081 sq.ft externally).  Interesting when compared to the average size of a new homes built nationally which is 12.1% lower at 818 sq.ft internally (927 sq.ft externally).

These relaxed rules are only for single-storey extensions though, when most growing families don’t need an extra downstairs reception room, they need an additional upstairs bedroom.  This means if families do want an extra bedroom upstairs, they will still have to go through the rigmarole of submitting a full planning permission.  Although, many Doncaster people have used these rules in the last 6 years to build a decent size granny-annex – there are other options less explored out there.

There was a second (less advertised) temporary change the Government made to planning rules in 2015, that has also been made permanent recently, many may have missed it, yet it has a bigger potential impact on the housing market.  The new rules make permanent the removal of planning rules to allow office blocks and shops to be converted into residential homes without a full planning application being made.  Since 2013, 11,090 office blocks and 1,750 shops have been converted into residential households.  This doesn’t sound a lot, but in 2017 alone, converted shops and office blocks provided 37,000 new households alone in the Country (or 17% of the new household created in 2017).

Over the next decade, more and more office blocks and shops will be converted into residential properties … and this will slowly change the dynamic of the housing market and the high street … and I’m not sure whether that will be for the good or bad … only time will tell?

Doncaster Property News

Which Street in Doncaster has seen the most homeowners moving in the last 3 years?

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Lots of people say moving home is one of the top ten most stressful events in your life. Fortunately, there is a way to mitigate your stress. In a nutshell, start as early as you can, plan ahead and do everything you can to make it easy on yourself, your family and even the family pet. As an agent in Doncaster, my team and myself have been helping homeowners, landlords, buyers and tenants move, sell and let their Doncaster homes for many years. So I thought I would share some top tips for making your move as stress free as possible – then find out which streets in Doncaster have moved the most in the last 3 years.

The first tip is to plan ahead and write a list; because whilst it is taking between 15 and 20 weeks at the moment from finding a buyer to moving, those few weeks will fly by in no time as day to day life carries on. Next, get yourself a decent home removal company as they are worth their weight in gold on moving day – and if you need to know a good one in Doncaster – drop me a line and I will let you know who my clients are raving about.

Next, a cluttered Doncaster home doesn’t sell or let well, so maybe consider decluttering before you market the property. It will sell/let better and when it comes to the move – the job will be so much easier. Know where you plan to put all your important documents (like Passports and Bank PIN etc). Tell your utility providers and it is a good idea to create electronic copies of significant documents by scanning and saving them onto a USB stick and don’t forget to get your mail redirected.

On the day of moving home stress levels will be high and I know you will want to get everything packed away and have the tea on by 5.30pm! Those who have moved many times know that isn’t the case. Be realistic, as it’s doubtful you are going to unpack all your boxes in your new home by the end of the first day.

Make sure to keep your ‘Moving Day Survival Equipment’ close by, change of clothes, wash equipment, cold bottles of water, biscuits, kettle, tea/coffee/milk, crisps (even G&T??) to keep your spirits, morale and energy up – you will be fine.. but it will take a few days to completely unpack and get your new Doncaster home the way you would like it to be. As long as you have your bed set up and made by the end of moving day – you can have the rest of the weekend to get ship shape.

So, which street or road in Doncaster (DN11 to be more precise) has put themselves through one of the most stressful moments in their life over the last 3 years? Which street has seen the most home moves and experienced the trials of moving home.

Heatherfields Crescent comes in at the top spot, with 104 home movers in the last 36 months with a total property value of £23,388,000 sold, interestingly there are only 105 properties on the road … so have a look at the top 20 and see if your street is in the Top 20!

… but before you go, if you do need any help or guidance about moving home or advice about the current state of the Doncaster property market, then feel free to drop me a line or read the other articles in my blog on the Doncaster Property market.

DN11 Street

or Road

Number of Properties Sold
in the last 36 months
Total Value
of Property Sold
Heatherfields Crescent 104 £23,388,000
Mirabelle Way 59 £8,982,000
President Place 58 £8,620,000
Hesley Road 52 £9,720,000
McConnel Crescent 28 £2,351,000
Scrooby Road 27 £3,696,000
Bracken Way 27 £4,420,000
West End Lane 24 £2,810,000
Milne Road 18 £1,744,000
Brodsworth Way 17 £3,331,000
Bawtry Road 16 £2,523,000
Aberconway Crescent 14 £1,301,000
Sherwood Road 13 £1,760,000
Sunderland Street 12 £4,266,000
Clay Flat Lane 11 £1,073,000
Essex Road 11 £981,000
Droversdale Road 11 £1,166,000
Church Meadow Road 11 £1,529,000
Elm Close 11 £2,032,000
Lancaster Crescent 10 £2,696,000
Doncaster Property News

The Affordability of Buying Property in Doncaster

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Looking back at the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landing a few months ago, it reminded me of the huge changes that have happened to Doncaster and more specifically the Doncaster property market since WW2. Back in 1946, the average wage in Doncaster was just over £5 a week and to buy an average car would cost you just under £600, yet this is a property blog, so…

The average value of a Doncaster property in 1946 was £732

In fact, in those 75 years, the average Doncaster house had doubled in price by 1961, then again in 1971, 1975, 1980, 1988, 2000 and 2006. Now a lot of those increases (especially in the 1970’s) were caused by hyperinflation, yet since the start of the 21st Century inflation has been kept low and since the Credit Crunch (2008/9), whilst property values have been rising, they haven’t been at the rates experienced in the latter half of the 20th Century.

Now what a property sells for is irrelevant, its whether someone can afford it.

Increases in Doncaster property values have produced huge increases in equity for many Doncaster homeowners and Doncaster buy to let landlords, yet on the other side of the coin also making housing unaffordable for other people. The best measure of the affordability of housing is the ratio of Doncaster property values to Doncaster average earnings (i.e. salary/wages). The ratio works on the basis the higher the ratio, the less affordable properties are.

In 1997, the average value of a Doncaster property was 2.6 times higher than the average annual wage in Doncaster, in 2007 it peaked at 5.2, yet two years later it had dropped to 4.7 and since then has slowly risen to 4.8 times higher!

It can be seen that even though property in Doncaster became more affordable after the 2007/8 property crash (i.e. the ratio dropped), in subsequent years, with house values rising but earnings/salaries not keeping up, the ratio started to rise. This has meant there has been a decline in affordability of property in Doncaster over the last five years – so for those on particularly low incomes or with little capital, it unfortunately means that buying a Doncaster home will never become an option.

Therefore, the demand for private rented properties in Doncaster will continue to grow as many young Doncaster people are deciding to rent instead of buy their own house (knowing when their parents pass away, the equity built up in their parents property will be passed down – and then they can buy in their 50’s and 60’s – just like it happens in Germany).

Yet, that is many decades away and with fewer Doncaster people wanting or able to save up the 5% deposit required by mortgage lenders, more and more people are looking to rent. Tie this in with the subtle shift in attitudes towards renting since the Millennium and less people jumping the on the bottom rung of the property ladder, this has driven rents and demand up in Doncaster over the last few years. Yet (and it’s an important proviso) the type, location and demands of Doncaster tenants has changed over that same time frame meaning you can’t just make money from buy to let as easily as falling off a log like you did in the early 2000’s.

If you are an existing landlord with us (or even another agent in Doncaster) or someone thinking of becoming a first time Doncaster landlord looking for advice and opinion and what (or not to buy in Doncaster), one source of information is the Doncaster Property Blog REMOVE OR CHANGE insert url here if you have a blog – or drop me an email or phone call and let’s start a conversation – I don’t bite and I don’t do hard sell … and maybe, just maybe, I could help you get better returns from your property portfolio.

Doncaster Property News

The Doncaster Monopoly Board

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Board games seem a thing of the past for youngsters nowadays with their consoles and mobile phones yet a family favourite in our household that will bring young and old together is Monopoly.

Mayfair is the square everyone wants to buy and whilst it is the most expensive to buy – it offers the greatest returns. Mayfair was the must have London address when the Monopoly board game was made in 1935 when, at the time, it was the most expensive street to buy houses at £400 each. A member of my family asked me what a property today would be worth in Mayfair and how much it would cost to buy them all. Readers will know I like a challenge. My research shows that a typical house in Mayfair today costs on average £2.8m – whilst the total value of all the property in the Mayfair area currently stands at £11.8bn.

The fun part of Monopoly was to build more houses and ultimately a hotel to extract the maximum rent from the other players who landed on the square. That made me think, instead of looking at the average value of a property on the street, what if we looked at the total value of property on the whole street. So, I carried out some research on all the 124 streets in DN1 and calculated the top 20 streets in terms of their total value of all properties on the street..  and just for fun, colour coded them as if they were on a Monopoly board  …

Monopoly Board Street Doncaster (DN1) Equivalent Street Total Value of all the Homes on the Street
Mayfair St James Street £25,565,000
Park Lane Thorne Road £24,364,000
Bond Street St Marys Road £18,582,000
Oxford Street Chequer Road £13,982,000
Regent Street Elsworth Close £12,309,000
Piccadilly Broxholme Lane £11,698,000
Coventry Street Kings Road £9,850,000
Leicester Square Christ Church Road £9,158,000
Trafalgar Square Queens Road £8,672,000
Fleet Street Morley Road £7,760,000
The Strand Highfield Road £7,716,000
Vine Street Nether Hall Road £7,363,000
Bow Street Elmfield Road £7,207,000
Pall Mall Copley Road £7,132,000
Whitehall Lawn Road £6,810,000
Northumberland Ave Milton Walk £6,767,000
Pentonville Road Dockin Hill Road £6,729,000
Angel Islington Town Fields £6,672,000
White Chapel Road Jubilee Road £6,554,000
Old Kent Road Regent Square £6,341,000

Mayfair and Park Lane are represented by St James Street and Thorne Road. Surprises in the mix include Elsworth Close and Broxholme Lane. They are rightly in the list because of the sheer size of those streets; because whilst the value of those homes are much lower than the posher streets, the total value of the whole street means they make the top 20 list.

Now of course whilst drawing a comparison between a 1935 board game and the actual total house values on those Doncaster streets and roads provides a light hearted point of view of the Doncaster property market, it does present a credible picture of Doncaster’s most popular streets. Next time I will get back to writing an article with a little more seriousness and deeper issues on the Doncaster housing market … but this week, I hope you enjoyed my little bit of fun!

Doncaster Property News

Only 30.3% of Doncaster Households are Eco-friendly

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Improving the energy efficiency of Britain’s 27.2 million homes, which are responsible for more than a quarter of the country’s CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, is seen as key to tackling the issues of climate change, fuel poverty and our country’s energy security. This is particularly important as in June the Government announced they were going to make the country carbon neutral by 2050, meaning Britain’s homes need some enormous retro-fitting to meet these ambitious climate targets.

Researchers at Nottingham Trent University said it would cost on average £17,000 per property to retrofit an average UK home to make it carbon neutral with renewable energy and insulation (if done en masse and not piece meal). That would cost the Country £462.4bn (interesting when the NHS costs £154bn per year). Now of course 22.7m homes are privately owned so that would be the responsibility of the owners, but if we look at publicly owned council housing, that would cost the Government in excess of £76.5bn – HS2 is ‘only’ £56bn!

The benefits of making homes carbon neutral go further than saving the planet, as occupants would have much lower gas and electric bills (which total £31.824bn per year), warmer households and a much-lower strain on the NHS, which currently spends about £848m a year treating conditions that arise from cold housing. Also, local authorities would have to spend a lot less than the £5.2bn a year for ongoing property maintenance by the installation of extra insulation and renewable energy such as ground source heating, wind or solar panels.

To improve efficiency ratings, last year the Government banned landlords from renting property with an energy performance rating of F and G (the lowest ratings), yet I don’t think there is an appetite to force private homeowners to do this work (although you never know in the future??). Homeowners would be unenthusiastic to take on the bother and cost of such building works, yet the Government could offer incentives and grants, which along with the funds saved on their energy bills could make the plan more appealing?

So, what about eco credentials of the properties of Doncaster homeowners and landlords?

Every home that has been built, rented out or put on to the market in Doncaster since 2007 has had to have an Energy Performance Certificate (E.P.C), giving it a rating between A and G (rather like those stickers you see on fridges and washing machines). A is highest rating (i.e. most efficient and greener) and G is the worst energy performance rating. So, looking at Doncaster first, then comparing us to the rest of the UK, this is the result…

 

 

So, 30.3% of Doncaster homes are in that eco-friendly A to C energy performance banding ratings, which is proportionally 18.35% lower than the national average.

So, what next? Well the Government will endeavour to make the green revolution as painless as possible with technology developments like LED light bulbs, for example, saving greenhouse gases without people noticing. In the future we might have hydrogen central heating instead of mains gas, all have solar panels for electricity, all triple glazed windows and even ground sourced heating … sounds pie-in-the-sky? Well who would have thought some of the most wanted cars would be electric and hybrid 10 years ago, built by the likes of Tesla?

There is no doubt that the energy efficiency of a property will rise in the coming years as the cost of fuel and people’s opinion on going green changes. You don’t need to spend £17,000 to find out what you can do to make your property greener. Look at your E.P.C and it will tell you what small changes you can make to improve your Doncaster home’s energy efficiency rating and ultimately save yourself money.

 

If you want to find your E.P.C rating of your Doncaster home, go to www.epcregsiter.com

Doncaster Property News

10.2% of all Properties Sold in Doncaster are New Builds

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Of the 12,800 houses and apartments sold in Doncaster (DN3) since 1995, 2,230 of those have been new homes, representing 10.2% of property sold. So, I wondered how that compared to both the regional and the national picture …and from that, the pertinent questions are: are we building too many new homes or are we not building enough?

Roll the clock back a few years and in 2013 the Government expressed its disappointment that, as a Country, builders weren’t building enough new homes to house our citizens. They promised to hasten new homes building to the fastest rate since the 1980’s when the Country was building on average 168,100 private households a year. The Housing Minister stated he wanted the private sector to build in excess of 180,000 households a year, a figure which seemed unachievable at the time. In 2013, private house building was in the depths of a post Credit Crunch dip, with just 96,550 private new homes being built that year. Yet, in the five years since then, private new-build completions have climbed steadily, rising by 59.5% to 154,100 new home completions in 2018..so on appearances alone, whilst the growth is impressive, the new homes builders haven’t met their targets….. or have they?

In addition to the 154,100 new homes completions in 2018, the private sector also provided an additional 29,700 new households gained from change of use between office, industrial and agricultural buildings to residential homes meaning, last year, the private sector created 183,800 new households. When we look at the public sector, there were 30,300 Housing Association new homes and 2,950 Council houses built last year, meaning after making a few other minor adjustments, the total number of new households/dwellings created in the UK in 2018 was 222,190.

Most of the growth can be credited to an improving economic framework, though continued help for first time buyers with the Help to Buy Scheme has enabled some younger buyers to bypass the issue of saving for a large deposit for a mortgage when buying a home, thus supporting confidence among new home builders to commit to large building schemes. Yet there is more to do. The Government wants the Country to return to the halcyon days of the 1960’s where, as a Country, we were building 300,000 additional homes a year  .. and they want that to happen by 2025, a 36% increase from current levels.

In 2019, the country will create 257,500 households, so we are on our way to meeting that target but maintaining this level of house building will be a test. Even the Governments’ Auditors (the Office of Budget Responsibility) is predicting net additional dwellings will plateau at about 240,000 in the first few years of the next decade.

So, how does Doncaster sit within this framework?

The UK currently has 27.2m households, of which 2.45m (9%) of those have been built since 1995, whereas in Doncaster, of the 13,800 households in DN3, 2,230 were built since 1995 (representing 16.2% of all households), meaning Doncaster has a higher proportion of new homes building in the last couple of decades than the national figures.

 

I certainly feel there is an over reliance on the private sector to meet the Country’s housing needs. Local Authority’s need to step up to the plate and build more houses, and its true central government has released more cash for them to do just that, but probably only 20% to 25% of what is required. In the meantime, unless the Country starts to build 300,000 households a year, property prices will retain and improve their value in the medium to long term – which is good news for Doncaster landlords and Doncaster homeowners.

Doncaster Property News

Doncaster Homeowners Sell Their Home Nearly a Sixth More Than the UK Average

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The average homeowner in the UK moves every 20.2 years…

That average in the 1970’s and 80’s was around every 10 to 11 years; in the 1990’s it increased to the mid-teens (in terms of years) and in the early part of the Millennium, it dropped again to the low teens. When we had the Credit Crunch years of 2008/09/10, that shot up to every 25.3 years and has been steadily decreasing ever since to the 2018 figure of 18.7 years.

The graph shows that as the economy improved after the Credit Crunch, British homeowners started to move home more and may have be taking advantage of higher demand and lower supply in the housing market to sell their homes and move on to the next property. Yet, most Doncaster (and British) homeowners are more often than not buyers as well, so that cannot be the real cause. As mentioned already, people in the 70’s and 80’s moved a lot more than today.

So why is the long-term average length of time between moves since 2000 still much higher than it was in the preceding 30 years? For existing homeowners, some people have said their lack of an appetite to move home compared to the 1970’s and 1980’s might come down to their mortgages and the need for higher equity to put down on the next house. It is true the number of years you stay in your home determines how much you will pay back on the mortgage you took out when buying it. If you stay longer, you have the prospect to pay back a larger portion of the money you borrowed to buy the home. Interestingly, if you consider someone with a 25-year mortgage on the UK average variable rate of 3.4% for existing mortgage borrowers, borrowed say £200,000 at the start of the mortgage and made monthly payments on that mortgage, it would take 15 years and 1 month to build up over 50% (or £100k) in equity (and 17 years 2 months if interest rates were at their historic average in the 1980’s and 1990’s of 7%) … all assuming there was no decrease in value of the property.

Instead, I think the issue is a lot deeper than that. Firstly, I believe there has been a long-term change in attitude to moving home and this lack of people moving home (compared to the last 30 years of the 20th Century) is part of a slowdown in the country in social mobility. Interestingly, a million fewer people moved in the noughties (2000 to 2010) than in the 1970’s, after other changes in population have been taken into consideration. You see back in the 1970’s and 80’s, it was expected that people kept moving up the ‘property ladder’ to bigger and better homes (i.e. keeping up the Jones’).

Secondly, there has been a change in attitude to homeownership per se … as 20 to 30 somethings (Generation Rent) have been weaning themselves off the ‘homeownership drug’ for the last 15 years that the baby boomers were addicted to in the 1970’s and 80’s … meaning there are less buyers at the bottom of the housing ladder to fuel the fire. That is an important factor on the long-term decrease in home moving as buy to let landlords have been buying the smaller style starter homes to house Generation Rent … yet landlords don’t tend to move up the housing ladder after a few years like first time buyers – landlords just buy another property.

So, what is happening in Doncaster with regard to people moving home?

I have mentioned a number of times in my articles about the Doncaster property market, the number of people who move home (i.e. the number of property transactions) is a more important bellwether to the health of the local property market.

Therefore, I compared the number of people moving home in Doncaster to the regional stats of home movers and the country as a whole. I also decided to look at a long-term point of view to judge the Doncaster housing market, because as can be seen on the first graph, there is often short-term volatility. Looking at the stats…

Since 1995, Doncaster people have moved home 16.57% more often than the national average

Looking at this second graph, 91.7% of the Doncaster (DN4 to be precise) privately owned housing stock has been sold since 1995 – interesting when compared to the national figure of 78.7%. Why? Well I am sure this might be the topic of an up and coming article on the Doncaster Property Market Blog.

Doncaster Property News

Doncaster Council House Waiting List Drops by 4.8% since 2011

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In 1979, more than 4 in 10 British people lived in a council house, yet today that figure is only 1 in 12, whilst according to Shelter 65% of families on the Council House waiting lists had been on those lists for more than a year and 27% had been waiting for more than five years.

One solution to the housing crisis has always been for the local authority to build more homes, yet should the state provide people with secure and dependable places to live – or is that an out-dated point of view? To look at this objectively, let’s take a step back.

After WW2, both Tory and Labour governments were building council houses in massive numbers, yet it might surprise you to know that more Council houses were built per year under Tory Governments than Labour ones between the years 1945 and 1970.

Everything changed in 1979, when Margaret Thatcher delivered the right for Council tenants to buy their Council House (called the Right To Buy Scheme). Interestingly, Right To Buy was a Labour Party idea from one of Labour Manifestoes of the late 1950’s (although they lost to the Tory’s). Mrs Thatcher’s idea was based on massive discounts and 100% mortgages for those buying … but this was the real issue that has come back to bite us all these years later! Half the proceeds of the property sales went back to Westminster and the other half went back to the local authority – but the Councils half could only be spent on reducing their debt – not to be spent on building more Council houses.. hence why we have a shortage of council houses.

In 2011, Central Government gave local authorities the power to limit people’s entitlement for social housing (aka Council Housing), hence removing those people that did not have an association or link to the locality.

Today, in Doncaster, the Council House Waiting List has dropped by 4.8% since 2011, meaning

 

10,143 families are waiting for a Council House

in Doncaster

 

Interestingly though, if our local Council House Waiting List had dropped by the same amount as the national one, the waiting list figure would be 6,510 instead, because nationally Council House waiting lists are 38.6% lower than 2011.

So where are these Doncaster families all living and what does this mean for Doncaster homeowners and Doncaster Landlords?

Quite simply, private landlords have taken up the slack and housed all those people that were on the waiting list. This is important as more and more tenants are stopping longer in the Private Rented Sector – the average length of time of a tenant stays in the same property is now 4 years. Renting is becoming a choice for many, as the years of this Millennium roll on. So much so, would it surprise you to know that renting a house can be more expensive than buying it as we have these ultra-low mortgage rates and 95% mortgages freely available?

Rents in the Rental Sector in Doncaster will increase steadily during the next five to ten years. Even though the Council House Waiting List has decreased, the number of new council and housing association properties being built is at a 75-year low. The government campaign against buy to let landlords together with the increased taxation and the banning of tenant fees to agents will restrict supply of private rental property, which in turn using simple supply and demand economics, will mean private rents will rise – making buy to let investment a good choice of investment vehicle again (irrespective of the increased fees and taxation laid at the door of landlords).

..and for homeowners (and landlords) Doncaster property values will remain strong and stable in the medium term, as the number of people moving to a new house (and selling their old property) will continue to remain limited, meaning that due to lack of choice and supply Doncaster buyers will have to pay decent money for any property they wish to buy (especially ones in good locations and presented well).

 

Interesting times ahead for the Doncaster Property Market!

Doncaster Property News

8% more homes for sale in Doncaster than a year ago

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One of the key factors of the health of the Doncaster property market is the number of properties for sale at any one time. The issue with housing is that when demand goes up, unlike with a chocolate bar factory, who can add a couple of hours overtime to increase supply/production to satisfy demand, it takes a good 18 months to two years from planning permission to someone moving into a home.  I have talked at length (and proved) in previous articles that we are still not building enough homes in the long term in the Doncaster area.. yet for the short term, a good indicator is the number of properties for sale and how long they have been on the market.

How long a property has been on the market is important as a guide to how the property market is performing – potential buyers can always find this information on the Rightmove and Zoopla listings (if you don’t know where – drop me an email or message and I can let you know).

So, let’s have a look at what is happening in Doncaster, both in terms of the number of properties for sale and how long they have been on the market compared to a year ago, then discuss what that means for the current state of play of the Doncaster property market. So to start, let’s look at the number of properties for sale in Doncaster compared to a year ago.

Interestingly, you can see there has been a proportional increase of 14% in apartments on the market in Doncaster, yet a 1% reduction in detached property .. overall in the last year there are 8% more properties on the market in Doncaster, compared to a year ago. Now, let’s look how long they have been on the market ..

Interesting to see that the biggest jump in the number of days on the market is terraced houses, from 147 days to 161 days .. demand and supply working again. Also, the length of time an average Doncaster property has been on the market has remained the same in the last year.

So what does this all mean for Doncaster Buy To let landlords and Doncaster homeowners looking to buy and sell?  Well, if you are thinking of selling, as the number of properties on the market has increased and the length of time Doncaster properties are on the market has remained static – you have to be mindful that realistic pricing is the key to get the property sold. If you are a buyer, that means you find yourself in a better position to negotiate a good deal on your Doncaster property purchase.

There is an argument to suggest that property buyers see excessive days on the market as an indication that the seller is becoming desperate to sell because the property hasn’t sold. Buyers are also mindful to believe that there might be something wrong with the home, a defect that caused other buyers to pass it up. This can concern them when they view the property – if they view it at all, as that possible and perhaps made-up defect is on their minds, even if it is sub-consciously.

Normally, both assumptions are wrong. A property can loiter on the market for several reasons. The most common reason for a property sticking on the market is overvaluing or overpricing. In an effort to get the property on the market, some estate agents may have deluded the seller into believing the property was worth more than the property market will bear. Don’t get me wrong, if you don’t ask, you don’t get and homeowners naturally want to get the best price for their home, and so test the market. Yet, if you aren’t getting a steady stream of viewers after a few weeks, then that testing can back fire. You see, by setting the asking price too high to see if they can find someone to pay that inflated price, then finding there is nobody in the market that will pay the price, here lies the biggest trap for house sellers on keeping the inflated asking prices for too long.

Sellers can also get stuck on an asking price and they are willing to wait out the market until it catches up to what they want for their property – yet we aren’t in that type of property market at the moment. Consumer champion Which said that if you have to reduce your asking price by 5% or more, it adds an extra 64 days to the sales process meaning you might lose the property of your dreams.

Also, I have seen countless times, house sellers insist on an inflated asking price, reduce 12 weeks later, yet buyers think there is something wrong with it so the homeowner gets fed up and accepts a lower offer to get the property sold, whereas if the house seller had gone onto the market at the right asking price, they would get much nearer to what they deserve for their property.

So, if you are looking for a bargain to buy – all the Portals (Rightmove, Zoopla and On The Market) allow you to search and sort by the length of time on the market as well as the asking price.. who knows – there could be a bargain waiting for you!

 

Doncaster Property News

Unemployment – the Secret Driver of the Doncaster Property Market?

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If you have been reading my articles on the Doncaster property market recently, you will see that in the three years since the referendum of the ‘B’ word (that word is banned in our household), we have proved beyond doubt that it (whose name shall remain nameless) has had no effect on the Doncaster property market (or the UK as a whole).

So one might ask, what does affect the property market locally? Well many things on the demand side include wages, job security, interest rates, availability of mortgages, confidence in the economy, inflation, speculative demand … the list goes on. Yet as my blog readers will note, I like to delve deeper into the numbers and I have found an interesting correlation between unemployment and the number of properties sold (i.e. transactions).

Why transaction levels and not house prices? Well just looking at Doncaster house prices as a bellwether has flaws. Many property market commentators and economists believe transaction numbers (the number of properties sold) give a more accurate and candid indicator of the health of the property market than just house values alone. The reason is twofold. First most people when they sell also buy, so if property values have dropped by 10% or risen by 10% on the one you are selling, it would have done the same on the one you are buying – meaning to judge the health of a property market is very one dimensional. Secondly, the act of moving is very much a human thing. Property habitually conveys a robust emotional connection with homeowners – a connection that few would attribute to their other investments like their savings or stock market investments. Moving home could be described as a human enterprise, moving from one chapter of one’s life to another. When people move home, it shows they are moving forward in their lives and so this gives a great indicator of the health of the property market.

Looking at Doncaster’s figures on the graph, you can see an inverse relationship between unemployment and housing transaction levels.

Property transactions in Doncaster dropped by 58.68%, whilst unemployment in Doncaster rose by 56.0% during the 2007 to 2009 Global Financial Crash

There is clearly a relationship between conditions in the Doncaster job market and the number of people who move home … interesting don’t you think?

Year Unemployment % Rate
in Doncaster
Number of Properties
Sold in Doncaster
2004 4.8 6269
2005 5.9 5260
2006 5.9 6073
2007 6.3 6246
2008 8.2 3258
2009 9.7 2581
2010 10.1 2594
2011 11.9 2741
2012 10.6 2684
2013 9.0 3406
2014 8.3 4140
2015 6.4 4283
2016 6.0 4191
2017 5.6 4678
2018 5.6 4637

Now I am not saying unemployment is the only factor influencing the Doncaster property – but it has to be said there is a link.

As a country (and indeed here in Doncaster) over the last 40 years, we have seen a shift in the outlook over the purpose of housing and the development of the religion of following house prices (and I appreciate the irony of me writing these articles on Doncaster – feeding that habit!) Yet, when did owning a home turn from buying a roof over your head to an out and out investment vehicle? I do wish people would stop fretting about their intrinsic value being associated with their Doncaster home. Now of course, I am not dismissing the current levels of Doncaster house prices – we just have to take into consideration other metrics alongside them when judging the health of the property market locally.

One final thought, looking on a broader scale in the UK, those towns and cities whose property markets bounced back after the Global Financial Crash had high levels of employment and low unemployment whilst places with high unemployment and relatively low employment have, on the other hand, typically underperformed.

So the next time you are considering a house move or buying a buy to let property in Doncaster … don’t make your judgment on house price growth alone.