Since the last quarter of 2013, average sales prices of terraces in M20 have increased by 23.7%, which represents the best performance of all property types. The next highest performers were flats, which saw an increase of 20.9%, followed by semis (12.4%). The poorest performance came from detached properties, which still managed to increase by 6.6%.
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 M20 is 30 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 M20, 4.7% of the workforce works from home, equivalent to around 1,250 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 M20 is £262,400, this equates to an additional £28,900. 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.
All housing markets are heavily affected by how efficiently the housing stock is used. Some areas have lots of people in relatively small properties and others have a few people knocking around in very large properties, often empty nesters. This infographic shows what the pattern looks like in Didsbury.
Looking at a monthly breakdown of activity over the last 12 months we can see some interesting patterns in Didsbury. While there was an expected amount of volatility from month-to-month, transactions were 6.3% higher for houses at the start of the period than at the end.
Over the last year, every property that was sold in Didsbury has fallen into one of six price bands. We’ve displayed them as a pie chart to illustrate quite how interesting this pattern is. Perhaps unsurprisingly the price band which represents the biggest slice of the cake was the £0-£200k price band (41.8% of all sales).
In M20, the streets where homes sell fastest and command the highest price-per-square-foot aren’t always the most lavish, they’re the ones that are the best-connected. After all, there’s a reason why the most popular property programme on TV is called Location, Location, Location.
As your local agents, we’re often asked all sorts of questions regarding our market, but the most common question is always “which is the best part of Didsbury to live in these days?”, particularly from newcomers. Of course, the answer is different for each client because of things like their family situation, age and hobbies etc. But one of the primary requirements for most buyers is ease of access to public transport. Many of us regularly use public transport so we don’t want to live a million miles away from our local station if we have to commute into work each day.
Public transport is actually becoming increasingly important as the costs associated with car travel continue to rise and roads are becoming more congested. This has resulted in a huge surge in rail travel. In fact, in Britain, passengers made 1.32 billion train journeys in 2010 (according to the Association of Train Operating Companies), a rise of 37% in a decade and the most since the 1920s.
Location has a huge effect on the price and saleability of a home, and in our experience houses and flats close to a train station or Metrolink around Didsbury Village and West Didsbury always sell and rent quickly. To illustrate the point we did some spatial interpolation of property price data, also known as number crunching! Our analysis showed that properties within 1km of Didsbury Village Metrolink attract a premium of 18.6% over those 2km away, with current average sold price sitting at £250,900 compared with £211,600. This means that for every 250m you live closer to the Metrolink, the average property price rose by £9,800. If that doesn’t convince you that public transport matters, we don’t know what will.
It affects the rental market, too. If you’re an investor looking for a buy-to-let property, or a renter looking for your next home, the distance to and from the station is extremely important. One of the first things renters do when searching for somewhere to live is look at the nearest station’s proximity to the property. That’s why Rightmove displays the distance to the station alongside each listing. Ideally renters want a speedy commute to their work or university, and they want an even speedier walk from their home to the nearest station.
Typical structured working environments based on the nine-to-five working day are slowly disappearing, with more people choosing to work from home.There are interesting differences between areas, not least in Didsbury, with 4.7% of people now working from home instead of in an office. This is 0.2% higher than in the North West (4.5%) but 0.7% lower than the national average (5.4%).
The number of sales that take place in an area is an important indicator of the state of the market. In the last year 5.5% of the total private housing stock changed hands in M20. This compares with 4.8% in the region and 5.2% nationally. That means that the local market is slightly more liquid than the national market.