Average house prices in the North East ended the year 2% lower than they began it – effectively wiping more than £1200 from the value of the average property.
According to figures compiled by Tyneside sales and lettings firm, KIS Group, an average property in the region was valued at £167,571 at the end of December 2017 – compared to £168,811 at the same point in 2016, a fall of 1.97% and a drop of £1240 in cash terms.
However, Darlington and Durham City finished the year as 2017’s North East property hotspots, with both boasting annual house price growth of 2%.
House prices in Sunderland, Whitley Bay, Washington and Whitley Bay also all end the year in the region of 1% higher than twelve months ago.
Homes in South Shields have performed the weakest over the past year, dropping by 5% year-on-year – a fall of £6464 in cash terms.
Properties in Peterlee, Blyth, Cramlington, Easington, Gateshead and Houghton-le-Spring have lost in the region of 3% of their value this year.
Prices have risen by 0.09% over the past four weeks, with value changes ranging from -0.4% in Blyth to 0.05% in Whitburn. A major outlier is Sunderland, which saw prices rise by 5.3% - 58 times the average growth.
Renters in the region are slightly better off this year, with average rents down from £591 per calendar month in December 2016 to £579 today – saving tenants close to £150 a year.
Average rents have risen the most over the past year in Darlington (+7.3%) and Whitburn and North Shields (+6.3%) indicating strengthening demand for rental properties.
Ajay Jagota, Managing Director of KIS Group, responded to the figures: “House values in the North East have been generally resilient this year in the face of ongoing economic uncertainty which is likely to encourage people to think twice about moving house. Indeed the property market is clearly very strong in some areas, even those like Washington and Darlington where you might not necessarily expect that to be the case.
We can certainly enter 2018 in positive spirits. December is never a great month for house prices with people’s attention on Christmas, but Boxing Day is generally one of the most popular days of the year to look for a new house and many people begin the search for a new property in the New Year. To be entering the New Year with prices on the up, even modestly, can only be a good sign.
That doesn’t mean that the region wouldn’t benefit from measures to stimulate the property market, and reforming Britain’s outdated tenancy deposit system could be an incredibly cost effective way for the government to do it.
Replacing deposits for renters with deposit replacement insurance would allow renters to put the £4.1bn currently held in tenancy deposits into government-backed Help to Buy ISAs, considerably cutting the amount of time it currently takes to save for a deposit for a home of their own.”