Figures from sales and lettings firm KIS and deposit free renting firm Dlighted show the North East housing market’s strong start to 2018 intensifying – with homeowners celebrating an £5000 increase in property prices in just four weeks.

Regional house prices rose 3.2% in April, adding £5512 to the value of the average property.

Prices previously rose 1.3% in March, meaning North East homes are, on average, valued 5.5% more than they were on Valentine’s Day.

An average property in the region was valued at £173,512 at the end of April 2018, 4.2% higher than the £165,566 recorded twelve months ago – a leap of a little under £7000 in cash terms.

The figures show Killingworth and South Shields to be this month’s North East property hotspots, boasting monthly property price growth of 6.6% and 5.1% respectively.

All 20 of the areas surveyed recorded property price rises, with above average price growth recorded in Jarrow (4.5%), North Shields (4.2%) and Tynemouth (4.1%).

These rises equate to a monthly increase in cash value of £11,901 in Tynemouth and £10,991 in Killingworth.

House prices in Killingworth and Whitley Bay have also performed strongest in percentage terms over the past 12 months, recording annual rises of 10% and 7% respectively.

Homes in the areas also performed strongest in cash terms, with property values up £17,870 and £15,016 respectively. Other property hotspots over the past 12 months include Tynemouth (6.2%/£16,239)

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The strength of the North East property market has come at a slight cost to potential investors, with rental yields currently at the lowest rate recorded in over three years.

Renters in the region continue to be better off than they were four weeks ago, with average rents dropping £4 a month from four weeks ago, falling from £578 to £574 – saving tenants £48 a year.

The figures are nearly identical to the average rent of £476 recorded this time last year.

Blyth is currently the cheapest place to rent in the North East, with average monthly rents of £425, followed by Easington (£459). Tynemouth (£844) and Durham City (£789) are this month’s most expensive.

The North East currently offers investors average rental yields of 4%, a 0.2% drop since March and a 0.3% drop since February. Landlords in Peterlee (5.8%) Newcastle and Gateshead (5%.1) are currently seeing the best returns.

Whitley Bay’s current rental yield of 2.9% is the lowest recorded since the start of Housing Now, with no area’s rental return dropping below 3% in the history of the report.

Newcastle’s yield of 5.1% takes it above Gateshead (5%) for only the second time on record.

Below average returns are also currently being experienced by investors in North Shields and Tynemouth (3.4%)

Ajay Jagota, Managing Director of KIS Group and Founder of Deposit-free renting firm Dlighted responded to the figures.

He said:

“Historically the North East has been a region where below average capital appreciation has more than been made up for for investors by an unrivalled return on their investment – but for now at least the opposite appears to be true.

“This is great news for homeowners, but less good news for investors – although it’s important to remember that even the rental returns in excess of 4% are still unbeatable, especially when the asset in question is gaining value at such a rate.

“The strength of the North East property market appears to driven by places North of the Tyne, Tynemouth and Killingworth for example  – but that growth is being shared south of it too, with South Shields and Jarrow homeowners seeing their homes gain 5% in value in just four weeks.

“Stable rents mean there is good news for tenants too, although with a caveat that the average North East renter will currently find themselves £861 out of pocket in deposit fees alone every time they move house, money which could be being used to save for a place of their own. This figure rises to an eye-watering £1300 in Tynemouth.

“This is undoubtedly pricing people out of properties, which is terrible news for landlords and letting agents, who could be letting properties with zero deposit using deposit replacement insurance.”