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City Centre Property Investment

The housing market has always been evolving and is constantly displaying different buying pattern cycles. More evidently, the housing marketing is a direct representation of the changing attitudes in society, mimicking the different trends at present.

Now more than ever, we’re seeing a strong demand for first-time buyers, especially in the city centre. City centres such as; York, Norwich, Leicester, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool are demonstrating a high level of increase in buyer demand, proving to be some of the most sought out locations within the property market. For some of these locations, buyer demand has increased by an astounding 76% from January 2021. The increase in appeal for city centres demonstrates the easing of covid restrictions and exhibits a steadily increasing economy. This growth has led to the ideal opportunity to invest in City Centre property investment. 

Despite these changes in buyer demand, the asking prices have remained steady and have shown up to a -4% change in asking prices when looking at April 2021 vs January 2021 figures, helping to enable city centres to be more affordable in the long run. An example of this would be Leeds, with an average asking price of £166,760 in January 2021, which displayed an average asking price of £159,972 in April 2021, showing a -4% change.

Buyer demand patterns have shown an increase in the demand for flats, illustrating an impressive +39% increase, with bungalows following shortly behind at a +30% change in buyer demand. Detached houses have increased by 26%, Terraced houses show a 24% increase and semi-detached houses feature a 23% increase. Big Roar has property investment opportunities in both luxury city centre apartments in Birmingham, Manchester and the East Midlands alongside a new build housing development situated in Norfolk – a perfect addition to any buy-to-let property investment portfolio.

City Centres Overtake Rural Demand in property 

City centres are proving to have strong levels of demand as opposed to rural areas. The highest average jump in city centre demand stands at 35%, in comparison to a 32% increase in demand for prospective tenants looking to move to country side and costal locations across the UK.

“Similarly, if you look at all urban locations and all rural locations across Great Britain, the growth in buyer demand for urban locations is now outperforming the growth in rural areas for the first time since before the pandemic started.” (Rightmove, 2021).

Andy McHugo, Associate Director at James Laurence Estate Agents in Birmingham, says: “The fear caused by the announcements of further lockdowns at the beginning of the year was that the need to live in the city, close to your workplace and close to the bustling financial district would be affected, something Birmingham experienced back in 2008 with the market downturn when the city got hit harder than most. Nothing could be further from the truth now. Not only are enquiry levels fantastic, committed residential buyers are now returning. The dynamic may have changed slightly, so apartments with balconies or terrace are proving popular, as are those with room for a home office, a second and third bedroom for example.” (Rightmove, 2021).

First-time buyer demands

The governments implementation of a new 95% mortgage guarantee scheme paired with virtual standstill, which was put into motion in April 2021, has already proven to be popular, helping enable first-time buyers get their foot in the property market.

Buyer patterns have show that 17% of first-time buyers are already using or will be using the 95% mortgage guarantee scheme, with Over a quarter of homeowners (28%) are hoping to move to the countryside or coast, compared to just 10% of first-time buyers” (Rightmove, 2021).

With the UK’s plan for slowly easing out of lockdown, buyer demand is expecting to increase for city centre locations, with particular interest in locations inclusive of; York, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leicester and Norwich.