Analysing The Political Economy

Number Of £500k House Hotspots In UK Reaches New Record

The number of £500,000-plus property hotspots has increased by 50% from a month before the pandemic – rising from 874 wards in 2019 to 1,312 in 2021, according to the latest research from property firm Savills. As a result, the number of areas where the average house price exceeds £500,000 has surpassed 15% of Great Britain for the first time ever.

The research into the increase in sales across local authorities wards that occurred above £500,000 revealed that the South West saw the largest rise in half a million-pound purchases (167%). This reflects a surge in house prices across more rural parts of the country.

The number of wards in the traditional lifestyle relocation and downsizer and hotspots Cotswolds, Bath and Somerset increased from 17 to 29 (bringing in the likes of Stow and Northleach, Combe Down and the Chew Valley West); whereas markets such as the South Hams and Cornwall saw an increase from 4 to 11 (combined).

The momentum for moving throughout the pandemic – born from a desire for more space, and spurred on by the government’s stamp duty holiday – resulted in a mini-house price boom across the country. But with stock in long-favoured hotspots across the country unable to meet increased demand, surrounding wards benefited, too. As a result, we’ve seen a surge in new geographical areas breaking the half a million pound threshold over the past two years,” comments Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills.

The increase in suburban and semi-suburban locations breaching the £500,000 threshold is most notable in London, with seven wards tipping over the half a million-pound threshold in Croydon, and a further eight in Waltham Forest. Now, almost two-thirds (63%) of all London areas are seeing an average house price of £500,000 or more, and a quarter of the wards yet to hit the mark in the capital are within £50,000 of that benchmark.

While regions to the North still have the fewest number of half a million pound hotspots – the number in Yorkshire and the Humber has doubled over the past two years – from five to 10 (four located in Harrogate, and one in Ryedale). Savills research also revealed the emergence of the first £500k wards in the North East, with three wards in Ponteland and the ward of Longhorsely joining the list. Meanwhile, Scotland is yet to register its first £500,000 ward.

What does half a million buy you though?

Not all £500,000 homes are equal and vary in size significantly across the country. The largest at 2.017 sq feet can be bought in the North East, versus just 869 sq feet in London.

Despite this, the amount of space half a million pounds can buy you has shrunk just 2% over the last five years in London, compared to a decrease of 13% seen in South West, West Midlands and the North West.




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