North East estate agency firm Pattinson says interest rate rises and cost-of-living worries have not dampened demand for properties.
The independent business, which runs 27 branches across the North East, says it sold 30% more properties in March than in February and reported movement in the market. Amid what its expected to be a busy spring sales period, the firm’s managing director Caroline Pattinson updated customers saying fewer properties had come on to the market in March compared with previous years but there had been an increase in rentals.
The observations follow data from the Office for National Statistics that shows North East house price inflation grew 10% in the 12 months to January – the fastest of any region in England. However, North East’s average price of just over £163,000 was still well below other areas with the closest price comparator being Yorkshire & Humber at £207,635.
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Ms Pattinson said: “We are seeing that the North East market is remaining pretty resilient for a number of reasons. The average property price is lower than in other parts of the country so owning your own home is still an achievable aspiration for a large number of people in the region.
“With a lower average property price, the interest rate rises have had a lesser impact than in other regions as average borrowing is less. We are also seeing a continued level of interest from buyers outside of the North East, some are buying properties as buy to lets, with good rental yields making the North East an attractive investment.
“With the continued trend of home working some people are moving to the region as it offers an attractive work life balance. There is still a strong demand for second homes in Northumberland, in particular coastal villages remaining popular.”
Pattinson also said it had seen an increase in the number of sales falling through during March, and cited a variety of reasons including changes in personal circumstances, properties being down-valued after surveys and sellers and buyers not being able to renegotiate a price, and a collapse in property chains.
Last month the firm announced its expansion into the Spanish market with the launch of Pattinson Auction in Marbella. The move is designed to attract estate agents in Spain – giving them an outsourced auction department that can offer clients a 0% sales fee, with immediate exchange of contracts and completion in 12 weeks.
Auction director Justin Beckwith, who is leading the international expansion, said the idea had also come from numerous enquiries from buyers and sellers about properties in the the country. Mr Beckwith said the firm is now on the lookout for Spanish estate agents to partner with Pattinson Auction and Pattinson International.
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