North East house prices up 0.4% in January

•    Sluggish start to 2015 for North East house prices, which rose by just 0.4% in the first four weeks of the year, following December’s fall of 2.2%
•    Blyth sees region’s biggest rise of 3.1%, followed by Tynemouth (1.3%) North Shields and Gateshead (1.2%)
•    Prices continue to fall in a number of areas, including Whitley Bay (-3.1%) and Jarrow (-2.1%)
•    Renting a North East home costs £29 less a month compared to last month with an average rent of £529 per calendar month.
•    The uncharacteristic decline in prices in Whitley Bay see it named January’s “Best to Buy”, while Sunderland’s rising property prices and strengthening rental yield see it named region’s “Best to Invest”.

KIS Housing NOW – Housing North of Watford – pulls together the most authoritative and up-to-the-minute data and the expert market analysis of the KIS Intelligence Service to give you an indispensible guide to the state of the North East property market.

Housing market report

Screenshot 2015-02-02 at 11.57.37Property prices in the North East have made a sluggish start to 2015, rising by just 0.4% over the first four weeks of the year. Although this rise ends three consecutive months of falling house prices in the region, house prices have not yet bounced back from December’s 2.2% fall.

The average cost of a North East home currently stands at £144,872 – the lowest level since April 2014.

Blyth was the region’s overall fastest riser – up  3.1% – with comparatively strong rises in Tynemouth (1.3%) and North Shields (1.2%) marking a strong month for North Tyneside. Gateshead (1.2%) , Durham City (1%) and Sunderland (0.9%) were also robust performers.

Several areas, however, saw prices continue to fall, including Whitley Bay (-3.1%) Jarrow (-2.1%), Darlington, Killingworth (-0.8%) and Newcastle (-0.5%).

Whitley Bay’s surprise fall follows prices rising by 5.2% over the past four months – making the town this month’s Best to Buy.

The majority of properties in the town are semi-detached (42%) or terraced (40%). 37% of households are classified as families with no dependent children and 30% households with dependent children, indicating a popularity with young professionals. 32% of residents are between the ages of 25 and 49, the single largest demographic.

Rental Market Analysis

The average cost of renting a North East home is £529 per calendar month – £29 cheaper than December. Falling rents have contributed to a slight reduction in the typical rental yield to landlords, which is down 0.2% to 4.4%.

Yields rose however in Sunderland (0.1%) Whitburn (0.2%) and Washington (0.2%), indicating a comparatively  strong rental market in South Tyneside.

Gateshead continues to offer the region’s best returns for investors – 7% – although
Sunderland’s above average and rising rental yield of 5.1% sees it named this month’s “Best to Invest”.

Postcodes like SR1 and SR2 have 27% student populations, with 34% of residents under the age of 25. 76% of properties in the areas are flats, apartments and maisonettes and 55% of properties are single occupancy.

Ajay Jagota, founder and Chief Executive Officer of KIS Group responded to the figures.

“It’s been a sluggish start to 2015 for the North East housing market, with our research showing prices up just 0.4%, following a 2.2% fall in December and meaning prices are still 2.6% beneath their peak in September.

“Some of that is to be expected – house prices traditionally fall back in December because people don’t move house before Christmas, but you would expect them to rebound in the New Year when people make it their New Year’s Resolution to move house.

“So why hasn’t this happened?

“Well, I believe it has – we just haven’t seen it reflected in the figures, yet.  But at KIS we’ve had an extremely busy January and I think it’s only a matter of time until we do.

“There are a couple of other things to worth bearing in mind. Firstly, the Nationwide this week reported that national house prices rose by 0.3 in the last 4 weeks – if that’s the case, the North East is outperforming the rest of the country, albeit by just 0.1%

“Secondly, a lot of places are seriously outperforming both the region and the nation. Places like Sunderland, North Shields and Gateshead have had price rises of over 1%, twice the regional average, and in the case of Blyth, its 3.1% rise is ten times the national rate.

“It’s been an especially strong month for North Tyneside – with above average prices rises in North Shields,Tynemouth and Blyth of course – which makes the 3% fall in Whitley Bay so striking. It’s usually a very strong performer, but prices are down over 5% over the past couple of months, which is why we’ve named it this month’s best buy.

“These figures prove my point that we are seeing a more slow motion recovery to the UK housing market than you would expect. Traditionally after a crash you see things pick up first in London and the South East, with rippling out towards the rest of the country, finally reaching the North East.

“This cycle has taken longer than usual this time around, leading some people to conclude that this is a different sort of recovery which doesn’t reach out region. I don’t think that’s the case at all.

“The North East housing market is currently at what I call the proving stage – it might not look like a lot is happening if you take a glance, but a lot is happening beneath the surface. Before you know it, you’re loaf has doubled in size and you’re ready to cook.

“I’ve predicted that North East house prices will rise by 10% this year, and I stand by that prediction.

“Despite rents falling by about £7 a week over the past month, and yields down 0.2%, the North East still offers very strong rental yields for landlords, with places south of the Tyne like Gateshead, Sunderland and  South Shields very consistent performers. You’re looking at 5% yields on homes in those areas, which compares very favourably with any savings rate out there.”