House prices rose by 17.5 percent in parts of Northamptonshire during 2021 but is the boom about to end?

Experts warn record surge will be halted by cost of living crisis and war in Ukraine

By Kevin Nicholls
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 8:42 am
Updated Thursday, 24th March 2022, 9:15 am

Property analysts are predicting an end to a boom in Northamptonshire house prices as the cost of living crisis kicks in and Ukraine war dents economic confidence.

Estate agents have seen a 10.5 percent annual growth in West Northamptonshire and a whopping 14.9 percent per cent in North Northamptonshire, outstripping inflation during the 12 months to January.

The average West Northamptonshire house price in January was £284,488, Land Registry figures show – a 1.6% increase on December.

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House prices rose by more than 10 percent across Northamptonshire in 12 months to January

Over the last year, the average sale price of property in West Northamptonshire rose by £27,000 – putting the area 21st among the East Midlands’s 35 local authorities with price data for annual growth.

In North Northamptonshire, the average was £253,600, a one percent increase on December and £33,000 up on a year earlier – putting the area seventh in the region.

UK house prices are currently rising at their fastest rate since 2007, according to Halifax, with the typical property notching up its biggest annual cash gain in the nearly 40 years since the lender’s index began.

Two years on from the start of the coronavirus pandemic, commentators say the housing market is continuing to defy economic conditions, with average property prices rising by another 0.5 percent in February, equating to £370 a week.

The squeeze on household finances, fuelled by rising interest rates and inflation, does not as yet appear to have done much to dent the market’s buoyancy.

Estate agents and others have said a shortage of homes for sale is continuing to drive prices up, while the pandemic has prompted many people living in urban areas to look at relocating somewhere with more open space, such as a village or small town in the countryside or by the sea.

However, the events in Ukraine are expected to help put the brakes on the market.

Russell Galley, Halifax’s managing director, said: “The war in Ukraine is a human tragedy but is also likely to have effects on confidence, trade and global supply chains.”

He said soaring oil and gas prices were one immediate consequence, meaning that UK inflation – already at a 30-year peak – would remain higher for longer, adding to the squeeze on already stretched household incomes. Meanwhile, further interest rate increases looked likely in the near term.

“These factors are likely to weigh on buyer demand as the year progresses, with market activity likely to return to more normal levels, and an easing of house price growth to be expected,” Galley said.

■ Winners and Losers — West Northamptonshire

Owners of detached houses saw the biggest improvement in property prices in West Northamptonshire in 2021 – they increased 12.1 percent to £465,818 by January.

Prices of flats, meanwhile, were up 6.8 percent annually to £145,273 average.

First-time buyers spent an average of £237,000 on their property – £22,000 more than a year ago, and £46,000 more than in January 2017.

Winners and Losers — North Northamptonshire

Owners of detached houses in North Northamptonshire increased by 17.5 percent annually to an average of £407,858.

Flats were up 9.9 percent annually to an average of £120,499.

First-time buyers spent an average of £213,000 on their property – £27,000 more than a year ago, and £54,000 more than in January 2017.