As you are reading this article, the chances are you have a modicum of interest in the Yorkshire housing market. You might simply be an avid follower of trends, you might be a buyer looking for that dream country house or you might be a potential seller wondering if now is the right time to go to the market. You might even be one of those who kindly tell me they read my articles through idle curiosity, even though a friend usually tells me it’s simply another of my bi-monthly ramblings about all things to do with residential property, though I like to think it’s a considered opinion piece.
Whatever your reasons, all of us have an underlying wish to understand what is happening to the market at the present time, and perhaps more importantly what might happen in the future. With the notable exception of new homes, at present there is a dramatic shortage of houses for sale, not only in Yorkshire but across the country.
With events over the last week, and indeed the last few months, raising so many uncertainties, it would be understandable to be cautious. Gas prices are escalating, and government support has been given to CO2 producers to maintain food and drink supplies. Brexit restrictions have contributed to an acute lack of HGV drivers placing increasing pressure on our logistics industry.
Used car prices have shot up of late whilst new car production has slowed due to the fragility of a just in time supply chain and a global shortage of microchips. International shipping costs have soared over the last year and the rise has been particularly dramatic in the last few months with the cost of raw materials also increasing as a result. And this is all against the background of a worldwide pandemic of a magnitude not seen for 100 years.
So why on earth would you consider buying or selling at this present time?
I am neither an economist nor a politician but with all this volatility, there is one commodity that has stood the test of time and that is property. Data from the beginning of 2021 revealed that house prices have almost tripled the past 20 years, and of that gain over a third had accumulated over the last decade. If you add in the leap in prices over the last 6 months, the figures have been even more impressive. So housing has proved to be a steady investment with substantial gains when viewed over the longer term.
Yes there have been ups and downs and that is sadly what many remember. However, the reality is that large global events such as the financial crash in 2007-2008 register as mere kinks in the long term growth trend. Consequently, housing should not be seen as a quick route to short-term gain. Your home should be exactly that, your home. Hopefully, it’s a place where you can relax, enjoy time with family and friends and appreciate what really is important in life, especially after the last 18 months. You will no doubt want to stamp your personality on it, decorate as you want, refit the bathroom, knock through the kitchen and dining room to make an open plan living kitchen, landscape and cultivate your garden.
Whatever you decide, remember the expression “safe as houses”. It has a lot to commend it. Where you live, when and how you buy or sell are all within your control. Gas prices are not.
Tim Waring FRICS, Head of Residential.