The distance travelled to work in a given area is an indicator of the area’s transportation links. It can also show if an area has job opportunities locally. In SK5, 75.0% of the local workforce travel less than 10km to get to work. This is 12.8% higher than the average in the North West region and 18.1% higher than the national average.
The changes in stamp duty and the Brexit vote have made the last 12 months an interesting one. There have been a total of 616 sales and we can see that volumes have increased by 26.1% since August 2015.
Over the last year, every property that was sold in SK5 has fallen into one of seven price bands. The adjacent bar chart illustrates this interesting pattern which shows that the £100k-£200k price band had the largest number of sales (339), followed by the £0-£100k price band (149).
You would be forgiven for thinking that Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan was talking about the UK property market when he sang, “the times, they are a changin'”. As agents in SK5, we have seen it all in the property market. But one overarching fact is the rise of local property prices, which have seen a significant increase of 168% since 2000.
Figures show that moving up the property ladder, or getting on it in the first place, is not that easy. However, there are certain choices you can take to make the process much smoother, particularly if you listen to advice from a good agent. The young person’s dream of owning their own property is still very much within reach.
Compromise is key; sometimes it is a good idea to take stock and really think about what it is that you want from a property. SK5 is popular with homeowners and tenants, which indicates that location is still the number one factor for people moving home. Yet in our experience, some people are willing to look further afield to find a cheaper, more suitable property.
If you are already on the property ladder, moving up it is not as arduous as many initially think. Increasing house prices can actually benefit homeowners like you, assuming that you have paid off a fair amount of your mortgage. Average property prices in SK5 are now worth £120,800, which means if you bought the property 10 years ago, it would have increased by an impressive £7,800.
Some of you will be tenants who are not yet on the property ladder, but don’t worry as there is still hope. Mortgage lenders have started to loosen their purse strings, with many of them offering up to 95% mortgages. The government also offer several schemes making it easier for first-time buyers to purchase a home, including Right to Buy, shared ownership and the Help To Buy ISA.
Landlords have reasons to be cheerful, with an element of younger people in SK5 choosing to rent rather than buy. There are certainly benefits to renting, including the ability to simply call the landlord if there are any issues around your rental home, allowing you to save on large repair costs. The lifestyle of a renter also provides flexibility, which is very important to some people.
It is harder for young people to save for a deposit in an age where Apple launch a brand new product every six months, or the latest HDTV is readily available. Renting is a choice, and we are developing a mindset more akin to the Europeans with regards to it. In fact, the fascinating figures show the percentage of households privately rented in SK5 have risen from 6.4% in 2001 to 12.0%, according to the last census.
The volume of sales in a given area is a powerful measure of the vitality of local housing markets. In the last two years there have been 944 sales in SK5. Terraces accounted for the largest number of sales (473), followed by semis (332), then flats (109) and detached properties accounted for the fewest sales (30).
Since the last quarter of 2013, average sales prices of semis in SK5 have increased by 22.9%, which represents the best performance of all property types. The next highest performers were flats, which saw an increase of 20.9%, followed by terraces (14.4%). The poorest performance came from detached properties, which still managed to increase by 11.1%.
Each area of the country has a different demographic profile in terms of the age of local residents. The exact balance of age groups has a profound effect upon the demand profile of the local market. The average age in SK5 is 36 years old. This is lower than the North West average (39 years old) and lower than the national average (39 years).
The advent of broadband has dramatically altered our expectations about what we can do from the comfort of our own home. The ability to buy groceries, order a new dress, stream HD movies, make video calls and download files all at the same time has changed the way we think about where we live. With that in mind, it is no surprise that broadband speeds play an important role in house-hunters and landlords’ decisions when looking for new homes or buy-to-let properties.
Research by internet service provider KC suggests that three out of four people take broadband speeds into account when choosing a home. Rightmove certainly agree, with results of their recent survey indicating that people now value broadband speeds just as much as a property’s proximity to a good school or transport infrastructure.
Of course, out of everyone it is the younger generation who place the most emphasis on internet speeds, with Rightmove reporting that 18 to 35 year olds are influenced by how fast a connection is. Around half of this age bracket say they would reconsider a property if they found that the connection speed was inadequate for their needs.
As the world becomes ever smaller and more integrated via the web, there is a greater amount of people working from home instead of commuting to an office. ONS reports that the total figure of home-based workers in the UK is currently 4.2 million; nearly 14% of the entire UK workforce. In SK5, 2.8% of the workforce works from home, equivalent to around 370 people. Those who do work from home might not have to worry about the daily grind when commuting to work, but they will want to make sure their internet speed does not cause them a daily headache.
Even for those not working from home, broadband has become an essential part of everyday life. Video messaging services like Skype and FaceTime have changed the way we communicate, while live streaming of music and movies on sites like Spotify and Netflix has made the need for an uninterrupted internet connection that much more important.
A survey conducted for the Halifax showed that over 20% of people surveyed would be willing to pay more for a property with a fast broadband connection than for one without. Broadband provider Hyperoptic also recently found that people were willing to pay up to 11% more for a property with 100Mbps broadband speeds. Given the average property price in SK5 is £116,200, this equates to an additional £12,800. Hyperoptic also found that 60% of the people they spoke to said an internet connection was more important than having a garden, or good neighbours. These results just go to show what an important role superfast broadband plays in people’s lives.