York is a fantastic city, with a long and illustrious history. It is a very popular place to live, so selling property in York is still relatively easy to do.
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Despite this fact, York estate agents are not complacent. They appreciate that the housing market is in a constant state of flux. Therefore, most agents pay careful attention to plans for the city, which are likely to have an effect on the local housing market. They also keep an eye on national studies and plans that can help them to understand how the city is likely to develop in the near future.
In 2010, GVA were asked to assess the housing market of North Yorkshire. Naturally, while putting together the study this team of consultants took a close look at York, which is the county’s largest city.
The resulting report, the Strategic Housing Market Assessment has been closely studied by most of York’s estate and letting agents. They are using the information contained in the study to help property investors, and potential residents which parts of the city to invest in. If you are interested you can find and download the study to read yourself, it is available via this link.
The current situation
While putting together the report GVA uncovered the fact that the population of York represented over 24% of the county’s residents. Given people’s preference for living in cities, this situation is not likely to change in the near future. In all likelihood, the population of York will continue to rise.
However, over the past decade, the number of people living in each home has fallen. This trend is also expected to continue. These two facts mean that demand for housing in York is highly likely to outstrip availability. For investors, this really is the ‘perfect storm’. It means that people will be willing to pay a premium to be able to live in the city.
The rental market
As is the case in most parts of the UK the cost of renting has risen steadily for nearly two decades. Something that has led to most ordinary people finding it almost impossible to afford to rent a property in the city. For example, one-bedroom flats cost around £925 a month to rent, which means that someone being paid the average wage would have to spend 100% of what they earn on rent.
The future of housing in York
Bridging that gap is seen as a big challenge by the local council. This is because demand for rented accommodation in the city has increased by 50%+ since 2001.
The population of York is projected to grow by 2,300 per year. All of these people will need basic services, but if things continue as they are the workers who can do that work will not be able to physically afford to take those jobs. This is because they cannot earn enough to be able to afford to live in the city, nor can they take home a big enough wage packet to be able to afford to commute into York.
This sounds like bad news, and it is, but the truth is that the draw of this beautiful city is powerful. As a result, those that earn a good wage, for example professionals, will still be able to afford to live there. This fact coupled with a lack of housing means prices will continue to rise in York for the foreseeable future, so it is a great place to invest in property.