The prices of homes in the North West are expected to rise by 4% this year.
This figure has been revealed after global real estate services provider, Savills, has released its upgraded forecasts for the “second hand” housing market in the year ahead, which is based on Nationwide Building Society’s house price index.
Researchers at Savills had previously expected house prices to remain flat in 2021 across the UK, but a number of measures to support the market which were included in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget announcements last week, combined with the easing of lockdown measures, have led them to revisit their forecasts.
Lucian Cook – Head of Residential Research at Savills – said 2021 had initially been set to be “a complex and uneven year” for the housing market, but added that “the outlook has improved since the beginning of the year given the speed of the vaccination programme, the expected relaxation of social distancing measures and government support for both jobs and the housing market”.
The property group has calculated that nearly £50,000 will be added to the average UK house price between December 2020 and the end of 2025.
And by the end of 2025, house prices should have increased by 28.8% in the North West of England.
As is to somewhat be expected nowadays, Savills has predicted that housing markets further away from London – such as in Greater Manchester and the North West as a whole, where house prices tend to be lower – have more potential for prices to grow.
Savills said that a key reason for larger price rises in parts of the country, like the North West, was simply that there was more capacity for growth, with Lucian Cook adding: “The expectation that interest rates will stay lower for much longer than was predicted pre-pandemic means there remains capacity for medium-term house price growth despite the unexpectedly strong performance of last year.
“Across the country as a whole, five-year price growth of around 20% looks sustainable without unduly depleting mortgage affordability.”
During last week’s 2021 Budget, it was announced that temporary lifting of the stamp duty threshold in England and Northern Ireland is to be extended until the end of June, and a new government guarantee for lenders to support the return of 95% mortgages will be introduced.
“With the introduction of the mortgage guarantee scheme, [it] underpins our expectation of 1.4 million transactions in 2021,” Mr Cook concluded.
Stockport’s landmark £60m Weir Mill neighbourhood beneath viaduct hits major milestone
Weir Mill, a major new neighbourhood in Stockport, has reached a milestone this week, with its towering 14-storey apartment block reaching its full height.
The £60m transformation of the area beneath the viaduct in the town centre is being taken on by social impact developers Capital & Centric, who plan build 253 design-led apartments, as well as green outdoor space, independent bars, restaurants and shops.
Capital & Centric are already receiving interest from indie operators for the commercial spaces, ahead of kick-starting their hunt in the new year.
Weir Mill will bring life back to historic mill buildings that date all the way back to the 1700s.
It will form a major destination in Stockport’s Town Centre West masterplan, a 130-acre regeneration district which will include 4,000 new homes, local amenities, green spaces, workspace, and transport improvements.
To celebrate Weir Mill reaching its full height, members of Stockport Council and the Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation, along with local young people from the not-for-profit Regeneration Brainery bootcamp, were invited for a tour of the site.
Views from the top of the tallest apartment block look all the way across Stockport and beyond to the Peak District, with the towers of Manchester city centre visible too.
The development is being built right on the banks of the River Mersey and beside the city’s iconic red-brick viaduct, a stone’s-throw from the train station.
Stockport has in recent years been named as one of the best places to buy your first home, as well as getting a name-check in the Sunday Times’ coveted Best Places To Live annual round-up.
Adam Higgins, from Capital&Centric, said: “Weir Mill is such a historic site but it was in need of some major TLC. Since day one, our mission has been to restore and repurpose the stunning heritage buildings and create a destination neighbourhood that furthers Stockport’s standing as one of the best places to live and spend time. Not only are we well underway with delivering more design-led homes at a key brownfield site, we’re also on with creating outdoor hangouts and food and drink spaces that will all be open to the public and help draw a crowd into the town centre.
“Reaching the highest point is a massive moment and a visible sign of the change that’s happening here. It’s a privilege to give a glimpse of what’s happening on site given much of it has been shrouded in scaffolding for months. It really is a testament to the level of collaboration underway with the Council and MDC – with a shared desire to see Stockport create an identity it can be proud of for years to come.”
More than 150 people are now working to deliver the project, with significant focus on preserving and celebrating the original features of the historic Grade II listed landmark.
Cllr Mark Hunter, from Stockport Council, said: “This is a huge achievement and testament to the drive and ambition of everyone involved to bring this historic building back to life and greatly improve this area of the town centre, providing much needed, good quality homes.
“The pace at which change is happening across the town centre is quite staggering, with work at the nearby Transport Interchange and new urban park due for completion next year, it’s a really exciting time for Stockport.”
Eamonn Boylan, Interim Chair of Stockport MDC, said: “The structural completion of the new residential blocks for the Weir Mill development puts us another step closer to delivering the 4,000 new homes that our regeneration masterplan will achieve.
“The latest chapter in our town centre’s £1billion transformation, Weir Mill is setting a new benchmark for brownfield regeneration. One that celebrates and reinvigorates the town’s industrial infrastructure and heritage for a new age, in turn delivering essential new homes, creating a new cultural and leisure district and enhancing connectivity in the town centre.
“As we look ahead to 2024, which will see the completion of a major new transport hub alongside amenities and new public realm, Stockport is undoubtedly on track to becoming one of the best connected and most liveable towns in the UK.”
Once complete the £60m Weir Mill project will feature:
Chestergate and King Street West: A new gateway into the town centre, with ground floor spaces for independent shops, cafes or delis and plenty of lush greenery.
Water Front: A new public space looking out across the River Mersey, providing a place for riverside chilling in the evening sun.
Weir Mill East: Sensitively designed new buildings featuring a mix of homes, drawing inspiration from the site’s manufacturing history.
Weavers Square: What will become the heart of the scheme and a new destination for Stockport. The old cast iron columns of Weavers Shed are being retained to create a vibrant new outdoor space for riverside street markets, DJ sets, live music events and performing arts.
West Shed: A striking indoor space with exposed brick vaulted arches and cast-iron columns, creating a relaxed space to take your laptop, grab a coffee and while away the day.
West Courtyard: The former working courtyard to the mills, this will be a quieter, more contemplative garden space for residents and the general public to chill out, with plants, trees and secluded spaces to explore, as well as amenities for residents including rooftop terrace, BBQs and private dining spaces.
Manchester secures £5.2m funding to build ‘supported accommodation’ for rough sleepers
Manchester has secured a whopping £5.2 million in funding to build new ‘supported accommodation’ designed to house rough sleepers.
After an application submitted to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP) has been approved this week, Manchester City Council says it’s eager to help the former homeless “rebuild their lives”.
This means that, by working in partnership with housing and support providers Humankind, Jigsaw, and Great Places, the Council will oversee the creation of 42 units of supported housing across three different schemes.
The schemes are for single people with a history of rough sleeping and longer-term support needs.
According to the Council, these people will stay in this accommodation and receive personalised support until they are ready to “take the next step to independent living”.
This new £5.2 million funding allocation from the Government covers both the cost of creating the accommodation – which must be completed by March 2025 at the latest – and revenue funding to help run it for its first three years of opening.
“We are working with a range of partners to tackle the homelessness challenge on all fronts, from prevention in the first place to helping people into permanent, settled homes,” explained Cllr Joanna Midgley, who is the Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council.
“Securing this £5.2m funding for the city will help us create much-needed extra accommodation for those being helped off the streets who need significant long-term support before they are ready to live independently.
“It’s only part of a wider response but it will be a welcome addition to the accommodation and support available.”
The news of the successful application comes after the Council published its plan to get rough sleepers off the streets of Manchester and into temporary accommodation this winter back in early November.