The annual North Yorkshire House Price Index has revealed a 22.8% increase in property prices over the last ten years.

Compiled by the region’s leading property buying agents, The Search Partnership, the index analyses the average price paid per square foot, as recorded by the Land Registry, throughout six key areas in North Yorkshire.

The Search Partnership has been analysing the average price paid per square foot, for properties in Thirsk, Ripon, Boroughbridge, Harrogate, Wetherby and Bedale for ten years from 2011 to 2021.

The Search Partnership House Price Index is the only research specific to these six areas of North Yorkshire. Tracking actual prices paid, rather than guide prices or advertised prices, makes it a very accurate barometer of the local markets.

Tom Robinson, a director of The Search Partnership, said: “The index pinpoints how specific locations are performing using the average pounds per ‘gross internal’ square foot that a detached house sells for which is much more insightful for the region than the more general nationwide house price indexes

“Anyone wanting to get an approximate arithmetic guide for their property’s value can also use the index if they know or can work out the square footage of their house. It should be stressed though, that it is a guide, and does not take into account the individual characteristics of the property such as condition, setting and plot size for example.”

Over the last 12 months the index reveals the impact that Covid-19 has had on the market. Tom explained: “The last 12 months have been completely overshadowed by Covid-19.  The trends of a ‘normal’ year in the housing market were almost entirely rewritten.

“Spring and autumn are generally the times of year when most transactions take place and in 2020, transaction levels in North Yorkshire fell from their usual monthly levels of 600 to 1000, down to only 220 in April, whilst lockdown took hold. This monthly level of transactions   is the lowest recorded since the Land Registry started compiling this data in 1995. To put this figure in perspective, following the 2008 financial crisis, transaction levels only reached a low of 275 in January 2009, demonstrating just how much of an impact the pandemic had on house sales in the region.

“The post lockdown bounce was well documented, and this was not simply hype, it was based on accurate data. Within four months, transaction levels in the county had already recovered to about 800 per month, which is where they remain today.”

When analysing the data from the index over ten years, it reveals that house prices in Yorkshire have been very consistent in comparison to other parts of the country, including London and the Home Counties in particular, where prices have fluctuated significantly from year to year.

Fellow director at The Search Partnership, Toby Milbank, added: “With the many influences on house prices that have occurred over the last ten years, the summary of our research shows  that homeowners in North Yorkshire have seen the value of detached houses  increase by an average of 22.8% across the county.  An average of 2.28% per annum is far from  ground-breaking, and is in fact just below inflation, which has averaged about 2.5% per year over the same period.

“In comparison with other investments, gold bought 10 years ago would have risen in value by about 40% and a FTSE tracker would have given a 16% increase over 10 years. However, as we often tell clients, you can’t live in either of those investments!”

Looking ahead, The Search Partnership is predicting continued high market activity. Toby added: “At the end of the last lockdown, we saw frenetic activity in the housing and land markets.  With the roadmap to the end of the current lockdown coinciding with the Spring and Summer market, we are expecting a similar period of high activity. Buyers currently have very low levels of stock to choose from and are cash rich, with little else to spend their savings on. Banks are offering 90% and even 95% mortgages, which will fuel the lower end of the market in particular. As a result of these factors, we are predicting higher rates of price growth than in previous years and an increase in average house prices of 3% to 4% in 2021 seems likely.”