A new study by Open Property Group found that northern cities sell up to 2,000 single-family homes annually, nearly 10 times more than southern cities.
Houses for sale in Leeds: Take a look inside this tranquil cottage in Bramham with…
Using the latest house price statistics data, the homebuilders found that Leeds single family home sales during 2021 totaled 2,296, closely followed by Wakefield averaging 1,341 per year.
At the other end of the scale, Cambridge and Oxford single family home sales were 152 and 154 respectively in 2021.
Speaking to Purple Bricks’ local property expert James Limb, he explained that single-family homes in Leeds have become more attractive to buyers after the pandemic provoked a shift to working from home.
“In the last two years I’ve sold a lot of nice family homes to people who have moved here from London and other surrounding areas,” he said.
“That’s because the workplace has changed for her. You no longer have to be in an office five days a week, you can be there two days a month – Leeds with its rail links, you can be in London’s Kings Cross in two hours.”
But it’s not just the time and gas savings that are appealing to people now settling in the city; Two years of working at the kitchen table has got people thinking about what they value most in a property.
“One of the big drivers for people since the pandemic has been the outdoors,” James continued.
“[Leeds] is beautiful and you have the countryside right on your doorstep. I’ve seen a great exodus from cities and apartments to places with gardens and privacy.
“There is a shift in what people want out of life; as we go into another lockdown they want a home that they can sit comfortably in and they value their family more now and want a home that they can host friends and family too.”
It’s properties like this detached three bedroom bungalow on Bower Road (pictured) that appeal to buyers, with a large garden and living area ideal for family time, as well as the benefit of a garage with off-street parking for multiple cars.
With a guide price of £290,000, this delightful bungalow in the sought after location of Cross Gates has some of the key features that make Leeds family homes all the more desirable.
The choice of bay windows, pitched roofs and limestone masonry gives these newer buildings a degree of consistency and durability, something James believes sets the city apart from the rest.
“Leeds itself is an incredibly attractive city. Leeds [and Bradford] The City Council puts a lot of emphasis on the style of houses built and how they look to preserve the city’s aesthetic, which is absolutely brilliant,” he said.
“It’s a bonus – it gives you a good quality of homes.”
Yet despite so many premium single-family homes hitting the market monthly, many first-time buyers have found it difficult to find a comfortable single-family home in recent years as housing supply and demand have been at all-time highs.
Emma Winterhalder, branch manager at Dacre, Son and Hartley, told YEP that the pandemic plays a big part in why demand for single-family homes has increased.
“I think there is a shortage of single family homes and homes in general so supply and demand is a big issue and I think working from home plays a big part in that.
“I think because we have good rail networks, Leeds, York and Ilkely people think ‘Actually I can commute from certain places and work from home’.
“If you also look at the schools there are some good schools in the Harrogate, Leeds and Ilkley area so we find that attracts people.”
Easy access to amenities has now become even more important for families looking to buy a home, with properties like this five bedroom family home (pictured) in Whinmoor being just a short drive from local shops, schools and transport links.
The house itself also offers an enclosed garden for privacy as well as a large gated driveway with off-street parking, making the property as practical as it is attractive.
Ultimately, the big difference in single family home sales in the North versus the South can be traced back to two main factors: affordability and functionality.
Jason Harris-Cohen, Managing Director of Open Property Group, acknowledged: “Buyers are taking the opportunity to buy a detached property anywhere in Leeds or Birmingham. For example the same price as a one bedroom flat in parts of London or the Home Counties,” he said.
“The government’s Northern Powerhouse project – its vision of a super-connected, globally competitive northern economy – has enabled many northern cities to develop rapidly and sustainably
Advances have not gone unnoticed.
“More opportunities and lower living costs in the North have turned the heads of many relocators, particularly Southerners, as the prices to expand their current home base have become prohibitive and they now have the flexibility to work remotely.”