Harrogate property market predicted to bounce back

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Following detailed analysis of Land Registry data that records transaction levels across North Yorkshire, the region’s leading property buying agent is predicting a recovery in property sales volumes over the next quarter.

Director Tom Robinson, from Boroughbridge-based The Property Partnership Group, is certain its analysis over the last 17 years provides valuable insight and is a strong indicator of what to expect in the future.

Tom said: “In November last year sales levels were at a similar low to both the 2008/9 credit crisis and the Covid 19 pandemic. Inflationary pressures and a reaction to the Autumn Statement in 2022 saw interest rates rise to their current levels of 5.25% and the economic volatility and uncertainty since the Autumn saw month-on-month home sales fall by an astonishing 62%.”

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The team at The Property Partnership Group believes that drawing insights from past periods of economic uncertainty and recession can provide valuable context for understanding how the housing market might rebound from this current low.

Toby Milbank and Tom Robinson from The Property Partnership GroupToby Milbank and Tom Robinson from The Property Partnership Group
Toby Milbank and Tom Robinson from The Property Partnership Group

Tom added: “Over the past 20 years, residential sales volume trends in North Yorkshire have exhibited fluctuations influenced by various economic, social, and regulatory factors. Beginning in the early 2000s, the region experienced a period of steady growth in sales volumes, mirroring national trends of a buoyant housing market. This expansion was fuelled by low interest rates, accessible mortgage lending, and a robust economy.

“However, the global financial crisis of 2008 triggered a significant downturn in the housing market, impacting North Yorkshire's sales volumes. As consumer confidence plummeted and lending standards tightened, the number of residential transactions sharply declined. Yet nine months later, transaction levels were just below 1,000 houses a month, which was well above average.

“Subsequent years saw a gradual recovery, with government interventions such as the Help to Buy scheme stimulating demand and boosting sales volumes. However, concerns over affordability, particularly for first-time buyers, persisted amidst rising house prices and stagnant wage growth.

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“April 2020 saw the transactional low brought about by the Covid19 pandemic where restrictions on movement prevented the viewing of property, along with the uncertainty of the length and depth of the health crisis and the subsequent financial turmoil, which all contributed to a slump in sales.

"By the end of 2020 though, transaction levels had hit an all-time high with the market buoyed by historically low interest rates, government incentives, and changing lifestyle preferences fuelled by the pandemic. Remote working trends and a desire for larger properties and outdoor space contributed to a heightened demand in the North Yorkshire market.”

Fellow director Toby Milbank, added: “The recent decline in sales volumes last year, following the interest rate hikes and economic uncertainty following the Autumn Statement in September 2022 reflects how sensitive the housing market can be.

“Sales volume trends in the county have experienced many periods of volatility but the market has always demonstrated resilience and there is potential for a strong recovery in 2024. We called the bottom of the market in January this year and have seen a sharp rise in the availability of off market opportunities with our clients taking full advantage of sellers readying themselves for selling in improving market conditions.

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“As we move through 2024, it will be interesting to see how this recovery unfolds. Key drivers on the speed of the recovery will be the timing of the predicted interest rate reductions and selling agents managing pricing expectations.”