Prime properties in UK towns and cities outperforming the countryside

Taylor Scott International News

Prime properties in the UK in urban locations are outperforming their rural counterparts across the country, according to new research. A growing trend of living in thriving town and cities other than London since the economic downturn of 2007 is behind the increase, says the new analysis from real estate firm Knight Frank. Across all the prime regional markets, urban properties are now on average 4.1% above their 2007 peak. This has been particularly evident in prime towns and cities including Bath, Oxford, Winchester and Cheltenham. The report also explains that demand is strong in these locations, in part due to the high concentration of prime housing stock and good schools which make them attractive to families looking to upsize, but also thanks to a growing number of equity rich downsizers looking to move to areas where they can have access to a range of good restaurants, shops and amenities. ‘An important consideration for such buyers, however, is just how much extra it costs to move to a property with more bedrooms, or how much equity can be released by downsizing, especially given the fact that in some regional cities the price per square foot can be similar to some London boroughs,’ said senior analysis Oliver Knight. Looking at the latest average house price trends across the country, the firm’s research team has calculated that the cost of adding or removing a bedroom is around £52,000 on average across England and Wales. This figure does not take into account the added costs associated with buying a property, including stamp duty. The regional nature of the market means that in terms of costs and savings there are large variations depending on where households are based and where they are moving to, as well as the type of properties involved. ‘We also acknowledge that the size and amenities of homes with more bedrooms will generally differ from those with fewer bedrooms, and this too will be reflected in the price. For example, downsizing from a five bed detached house to a three bed terrace in the South East could release around £263,000 in equity, based on average property prices, while downsizing from a four bed to a three bed property in the West Midlands could release £45,000 in equity,’ Knight explained. ‘There are also notable differences in terms of property type. Moving from a three bed terraced house to a four bed terraced property in Yorkshire costs, on average, £38,000. Making that same move from a detached property to another detached property costs closer to £50,000,’ he added. The research also found that costs are greatest in markets on the outskirts of London such as Elmbridge, St Albans and Guildford, perhaps unsurprisingly given average property prices tend to be higher in such locations. ‘These markets have also been among the first to reap the benefits of the ripple effect of demand coming out of London. As regional economies continue to recover, more London buyers are expected… Taylor Scott International

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