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Rochdale Observer - - THE LAUGHING BADGER -

or­get Lon­don and the South East. If you want prop­erty go­ing up in value head for the North of Eng­land. New re­ports show prices in the cap­i­tal area are fall­ing fast – with those in the plum­mi­est dis­tricts plum­met­ing the most. The new hot spots are Black­pool, Durham, Lan­caster and many other towns out­side Lon­don.

Few com­mutable to Lon­don ar­eas have gone up in value – Swin­don is an ex­cep­tion. But oth­er­wise, those look­ing for home price growth should head North – York­shire, Lan­cashire, Hum­ber­side, the north Mid­lands and many parts of Scot­land.

To find bar­gains look at towns pre­vi­ously ig­nored. Black­pool, Lan­caster and Durham are among the fastest price movers, new fig­ures sug­gest.

Be­tween the first and se­cond three-month pe­riod of this year the num­ber of homes sold in Black­pool in­creased by 17%, ac­cord­ing to on­line es­tate agents Hous­es­im­ple’s re­search in Land Registry sta­tis­tics.

In fig­ures cov­er­ing 60 towns and cities, seven out of 10 ar­eas reg­is­ter­ing the big­gest growth in prop­erty sales in the se­cond three months of the year against the first quar­ter were in the north of Eng­land. Many parts of Scot­land and Wales are cur­rently buck­ing the na­tional trend of fall­ing prices as well.

Over­all, on­line es­tate agent RightMove says the av­er­age price of prop­erty com­ing to the mar­ket in the UK was down by 1.7%, or £5,222, in No­vem­ber alone.

It said the big­gest falls were in Lon­don, where typ­i­cal ask­ing prices fell £10,793 (1.7%) and in the south-east of Eng­land, where prices were down £8,647 (2.1%). This means some of the most ex­pen­sive Lon­don prop­er­ties have now lost up to £250,000 over the past two years.

The move away from the prici­est ar­eas is due to sev­eral fac­tors.

Af­ford­abil­ity is vi­tal. When even mod­est homes are 15 to 20 times an­nual earn­ings, few can buy. Some prices fall. If Manch­ester is too ex­pen­sive, then some­one look­ing for a big­ger fam­ily house might look at Black­pool – it’s still within daily trav­el­ling dis­tance.

The buy-to-let tax rules have changed. It’s now more ex­pen­sive to buy a se­cond home be­cause the tax­man hits you harder. So some would-be land­lords de­cide not to bother.

And while the un­cer­tainty over Brexit lasts – no one can re­li­ably say what the ef­fects will be on the econ­omy – then peo­ple will get ner­vous about tak­ing on new com­mit­ments such as a big­ger mort­gage.

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