affordable housing

Housing Affordability in the UK

March will see the Chartered Institute of Housing unveil its annual housing review, and early reports are to no one’s surprise that affordable housing is at a worse level right across most regions of the nation.

Annual Review

The annual affordability index of the review sets out the long-term trends in affordability of average mortgages region by region and country ever since 1994. It highlights the deterioration in affordability in the run-up to the financial crisis of 2007/2008 and the subsequent improvements before the market strengthened over the most recent years.

Northern Ireland is listed as the only part of the United Kingdom where homes are now more affordable than they were two decades prior. Looking back at the peak of the market in 2008, all regions are more affordable than they were back then.

Affordable Regions

Today’s most affordable regions are Wales, the West Midlands, the North East and the North West – particularly for those looking to buy property in Stockport. Unsurprisingly, London and other areas of the South West are the least affordable in the nation.

According to the data on the review, mortgage costs about average incomes show a very favourable picture compared to 2008, but in areas such as London, mortgage costs are almost as high now as they were at the peak of the market.

Whilst house prices have largely increased concerning incomes, mortgage costs are currently kept in check by prevailing low-interest rates. This is set to stay that way for the moment but could change.

Worsening Affordability

The Chartered Institute of Housing has gone on record to state that recent figures are highlighting worsening affordability throughout most parts of the United Kingdom. In areas such as East Anglia and the East Midlands, the typical buyer has seen a shift up from the 50th income percentile to the position of 70th over the last decade since 2011.

In areas such as London, the South West and the South East, there has been a rise to the 80th income percentile from the 60th from ten years previously. Scotland and the North regions remain at the same levels, whilst Wales and Northern Ireland have displayed a deterioration.

Whilst this has shown some concern for the outlook of affordable housing for 2022 and the early start of 2023, the outlook is still in its infancy, with no one able to accurately predict how the market will alter for the year ahead at this point. Those looking into how to sell a house in this climate as well as those seeking buying a property advice are advised to keep in regular contact with independent estate agents Stockport for how the market plays out.

Contact the team at Joules Estate Agents Stockport for all updates on the Stockport housing market, affordable housing, as well as advice on renting a house in the area.

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First Time Buyers the Major Contributor to Housing Market Boom

The past year has witnessed an astronomical rise in the amount of money spent on the housing market. Various reasons have been behind the big push including the stamp duty holiday, low rate mortgages and pent up frustration with the same four walls.

Regardless of what has pushed the surge in the marketplace, the biggest rise has come from first-time buyers to the market. In 2021, first-time buyers contributed over £86 million of the overall sales, increasing by just over £27 million within a single year.

Figures Across the Nation

Across the United Kingdom last year, a total of 397,232 first-time buyers entered the housing market – a massive increase on the 295,390 in the year 2020. That is correct – over 100,000 more first-time buyers came to market within a year.

When it comes to what areas saw the most increase in first-time buyer activity, the South East saw the biggest share of those numbers with 24,416. London showcased the second-highest growth with 18,717 first-time buyers coming to the market.

In the North West, an increase in first-time buyers saw the region attract 8,698. This included those looking to buy property in Stockport in both city, town and more rural surroundings.

Price Increase

Also increasing in each region was the average price paid for a first home, stretching from £199,251 in 2020 to £216,836, highlighting a nine per cent increase in just one year. When reflecting the regional differences on house price growth, Wales had the biggest First-Time Buyer paid jump at 12 per cent.

Despite the record new heights that house prices have climbed during the pandemic period, the record number of first-time buyers coming to the housing market over the past year has continued to climb significantly, with the overall level of market value they represent being huge.

Greater Demand

Greater demand over the supply has pushed the cost of buying higher and higher but the clear aspirations of owning your own home have never been more identifiable and strong. Even though today’s generation has become accustomed to long-term renting, the door has been opened and more and more people are taking their steps towards having their place to call home.

This factor plays very well into the future health of the housing market in the UK, suggesting that buyer demand has little sign of running low shortly. Although the level of housing stock has yet to catch up to the demand levels, independent estate agents Stockport look to have another busy year ahead for enquiries in the North West.

Contact the team at Joules Estate Agents Stockport for information on how to sell a house, advice on renting a house or if you are looking to buy property in Stockport.

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property investment hotspot

Why Stockport is the Fastest Growing Market for Property

Known as the property investment hotspot of the northwest, Stockport has been an area of exciting regeneration and unparalleled growth throughout the 2020s so far.

Surge in Stockport

During the first half of 2021, the number of prospective property buyers for the area of Stockport rose by more than 500%. The peak in interest in the Manchester commuter town was registered by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors who noted a huge rise in the volume of instructions received to carry out property surveys in the area.

In the first half of 2021, 1,887 surveys were completed which was a huge increase on the 311 completed in the same area in 2020. This has been the biggest rise within the UK, with Stockport taking a major lead in the UK property market following the pandemic.

It is believed that high interest in the area of Stockport will continue to skyrocket in 2022. Though favourable market conditions like the stamp duty holiday have been closed off, properties are still high in demand across the area, pushing prices up. Although unclear how the market will develop over 2022, it is clear that interest in Stockport will continue to climb throughout the year.

Town of Regeneration

Stockport has been a town of major regeneration throughout the 2020s so far, which is a key reason why interest is at an all-time high for the borough.

Various work has been put into motion to make Stockport a more accessible area, including a revamped transport exchange to make connectivity improved with a huge bus terminal, covered passenger concourse and better interchange links. As well as this is the development of the Town centre West area – complete with 3,500 new homes.

Along with the redevelopment of Stockport’s college campus, the transformation of Weir Mill and a community on site of the old St Thomas Hospital, there is the new Stockport Exchange district – attracting new and exciting businesses within the borough as well as job prospects.

Easy Access

With Stockport sitting just 8 miles from Manchester’s bustling city centre district and regular trains every 10 minutes – home buyers recognise that Stockport is the area of huge potential. Combining comfortable greenery with easy access to the city lifestyle, Stockport is the borough highly attractive to people who have a change in lifestyle and priorities – giving even more ease in literally having the best of both worlds.

Contact the team at Joules Estate Agents Stockport if you are looking for a property investment hotspot or to buy property in Stockport or advice on how to sell a house in the area.

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buying your first home

Average Age on First Time Buyers in the Northwest

Among the stats on buyer trends compiled by Halifax, a highlight shows that the average age of buying your first home has risen to 32, up from 2011’s age of 29.

Naturally, the bigger spike came within 2021, where first-time buyer numbers rose at record rates of 35% to a total of 409,370. It is estimated that the majority of first-time buyers coming to market in 2021 put down an average of £53,935 on a first property that costs £264,140.

Double Amounts

The numbers are more than double the amount that they were in 2009. With an increase of over 100,000 in the last 12 months alone, 409,370 new buyers entered the housing market within the year – a 35% increase in 2020.

Despite this record-breaking surge in numbers, first-time purchasers of homes stayed at around half of the years home loan figures. Every region throughout the UK saw a marked rise in the share of new buyers coming to the market, with the bigger increase being down south in London at 49%. The smallest was Scotland which still saw an increase by almost a quarter.

Increasing Regions

Every region except London saw the wealth of first-time buyers more than double over the last ten years. As more and more buyers enter the market, the average first-time buyer deposit fell by 6% throughout the UK. The only places increasing regionally were within Wales and Scotland.

The fall in the UK market was attributed to the rise in average purchase prices on first homes, widening the gap between purchase prices and deposits throughout every region.

Shifting Focus

Many factors are playing an influence on the 2021 home-buying decisions. Working from home and the requirement for space was key for many, whereas the stamp duty holiday increased the availability of first-rung homes for others moving upwards.

As lifestyles have drastically changed, people have chosen different directions such as higher education, travelling, or limited movement for work have shifted people’s attitudes towards surroundings – especially for those wanting to buy property in Stockport.

In 2022, the significant deposit required for getting onto the housing ladder and the rising cost of homes throughout the UK will play a big factor in the first-time buyer market moving forward.

This falling off of numbers may help the gap between supply and demand in housing to play catch up. Contact the team at Joules Estate Agents Stockport for all updates on the current housing market, buying your first home and how to sell a house in the current climate.

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house price inflation

Is Inflation Affecting House Price Growth So Far?

The big question of the moment is centred around if soaring house price inflation is wiping out house price growth throughout the nation and, in the monthly market report from the Home website – the truth is that only four English regions (plus Wales) are showing annual growth over and above the RPI inflation figure of 7.7% from November.

Regional Percentage

With RPI inflation heading towards 10%, some regions are seen to be coasting whilst others are victim to significant price falls in real terms. With shrewd buyers fixing seven-year mortgage deals at a low rate of 2%, there are hedges against the growing inflation threat so as not to expect any significant impact on buyers throughout 2022.

Currently, the quantity on the sizable gap between supply and demand has seen agents inventories drop as much as 41% over 12 months – and 50% less than in January of 2019. One of the top four performing English regions is London, where supply has been down 33% year-on-year and sales stock down 25%, but prices are up 1.3% on the last six months alone.

Low Listings

Across the UK, the supply of new sales listings remains comparatively low on a month by month basis. It currently stands down 18% on December 2020 – with London seeing the greater contraction.

The rental market is also seeing a prevalent scarcity and may get even worse, as it currently stands down 24% on January 2021 – which will allow for further rent hikes in due course for 2022.

Undoubtedly, the stamp duty holiday of 2021 fuelled around 1.5m house purchases nationwide, hitting its highest number since before the global financial crisis. Added to this, the huge flexible working changes spurned on by Covid-19 saw many prompted to make a sudden move in relocation – a trend that has not run out of steam yet.

Highest for Mortgages

In 2021, it is estimated that £316bn in home loans were given through mortgages, the highest in 14 years. As house prices reached record levels in 2021, 2022’s housing affordability for first-time buyers will soon start to stretch too wide.

As house price inflation begins to take a stronghold on the economy, people will start to have less income to spend on a mortgage. Currently, the imbalance of supply and demand has been the fuel of rising house prices – with 38% of homes sold for more than the asking price in November of 2021.

For all up to date information on wanting to buy property in Stockport, how to sell a house in the current climate and advice on renting a house, contact the team at Joules Estate Agents Stockport today.

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Will First Time Buyers Be the First to Ease Off in 2022?

As of the beginning of 2022, the number of first time buyers has been estimated to sail past the 400,000 mark – the highest it has been since before 2008 and the global financial crisis.

In the face of so many uncertainties implanted from the third lockdown of early 2021, the wealth of first-time buyer transactions reached the highs of 408,379 in a year where there was a 35 per cent increase over 2020. Today, first-time buyers make up 30 per cent of all house purchases with a mortgage – up from 36 per cent in 2007.

Looking Back

You would have to travel back 15 years to see transactions at this level, with 2006 being the previous buyer peak where 400,900 jumped onto the first step of the housing ladder. When the financial crisis of 2008 occurred, the numbers hovered around half of the current amount at 200,000.

Today, the falling unemployment numbers, low borrowing costs and low deposit mortgage deals are driving the demand for the first-time buyer crowd. These buyers have also not been deterred by the price of their first home either, which has increased by 9% in this past year. The huge benefit of being able to increase their deposits through the stamp duty holiday and sudden drop in expenditure during lockdowns has kept them focused and driven over the past year.

First-time buyers are typically in the high-income groups who have had a significant benefit on their financial standing during Covid-19 restrictions, making 60% of first-time buyers among the top 40% of the income distribution.

Demand Over Supply

In the near-term, housing demand is going to continue to exceed supply. The expectation now is that prices elevating in comparison to local earnings will see a dampening of activity. This is expected to see first-time buyers be among the first to taper off with interest.

With many first-time buyers focusing their efforts to buy property in Stockport and more rural areas away from city living, looking for the perfect home to start building towards family life – it is unlikely that first-time activity numbers will continue to stay at the 2021 levels and 2022 will see a more concentrated effort from those homeowners looking to sell up and move onwards.


As with anything, uncertainty plays a huge shadow over everything to do with the economy. Different variants of the coronavirus are always going to play a big part in fluctuation and demand, with home viewings potentially scuppered if a more serious state of lockdown is reintroduced.

Whilst this may feel even more pent up demand, it may also scupper the desire for people to move out of their surroundings in a time of crisis – meaning things could slow considerably more.

Contact the team at Joules Estate Agents Stockport for all information on first time buyers, how to sell a house and buy a property advice.

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