Relief for first-time hopefuls as house prices fall in Harrogate

Harrogate saw the fifth-largest average price drop of any authority in the UK over the last 12 months.
Harrogate saw the fifth-largest average price drop of any authority in the UK over the last 12 months.

There was relief for would-be first-time buyers in April, as house prices in Harrogate decreased by 1.8 per cent, contributing to a 5.6 per cent fall over the last 12 months.

According to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average property in the area sold for £271,018 – still significantly higher than the UK average of £228,903.

Across Yorkshire and the Humber, property prices have risen by 2.5 per cent in the last year, to £161,443 – faster than the UK average of 1.4 per cent.

The data comes from the House Price Index, which the ONS compiles using house sale information from the Land Registry, and the equivalent bodies in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Harrogate saw the fifth-largest average price drop of any authority in the UK over the last 12 months.

Nevertheless, the average homeowner will have seen their property jump in value by around £39,000 in the last five years.

The figures also showed that buyers who bought their first property in Harrogate in April spent an average of £214,777 – around £30,000 more than it would have cost them five years ago.

Lawrence Bowles, residential research analyst at estate agent Savills, said: “UK house prices grew 1.4 per cent in the 12 months to April – less than half the rate of price growth this time last year.

“Mortgage rates are still at historic lows, making housing more affordable in many parts of the country, which we’ve seen reflected in more first-time buyers.

“More generally, buyers remain cautious amongst the uncertainty of Brexit and the selection of the next Prime Minister, and will only commit to a new property purchase when they feel the price is absolutely right.”

Between March 2018 and February 2019 – the most recent 12 months of data available – 2,855 homes were sold in Harrogate – 2.5 per cent fewer than in the previous year.

The highest house prices in the country were found in Kensington and Chelsea, where the average price paid was £1.29m – 15 times the amount in Burnley (£84,000).