Leeds city centre one of best areas for first-time buyers as asking prices drop by £7,000, study finds

Leeds city centre was voted as one of the best areas for first-time-buyers in the country, after asking prices fell by almost £7,000.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 11:03 am
Updated Friday, 28th May 2021, 11:04 am
Leeds city centre was voted as one of the best areas for first-time-buyers in the country.

Buyers are looking to move back into the city centre, figures show, after an exodus of people during the coronavirus pandemic.

The average asking price in Leeds city centre as of April 2021 is £159,972.

This is a fall of 4 per cent from January, when asking prices were £166,760 on average.

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However, demand for properties in the city centre have increased by 39 per cent from in the same time period, according to Rightmove.

In a new study, the property website found that the majority of demand is from first-time buyers, who are hoping to utilise the 95 per cent mortgage and the lower asking prices to their advantage.

It found that, nationally, flats have seen the biggest jump in buyer demand since January, up by 39 per cent and that buyer demand in city centres is up by 35 per cent compared to a 32 per cent jump in demand for villages.

The easing of Covid restrictions has increased the appeal of living in a city centre, leading to some cities seeing buyer demand jump as high as 76 per cent in York city centre and a 57 per cent rise in Sheffield.

The study of more than 1,000 first-time buyers found that the desire to move to a quieter location that has been a trend driving a number of local markets over the past year is not as appealing to first-time buyers.

While over a quarter of homeowners planning to move in the next 12 months cited a move to the countryside or coast as their motivation (+28 per cent), this was just 10 per cent for the first-time buyer group.

Rightmove’s Housing Expert Tim Bannister says: “These are early signs but they certainly point to some good news for city centres across Great Britain, with a number of agents now telling me they’ve seen a marked uptick in demand from first-time buyers, and they’re managing to sell city centre flats more quickly than in earlier months of the year.

"People starting to venture in to their local high streets and once again experiencing the buzz of their city centres, along with greater mortgage availability for first-time buyers, means city centres are staging a much-needed comeback in the market.

"Right now some buyers are able to grab a relative city bargain compared to the heady price growth outside cities, but these early signs of demand could be the start of city prices rising again, so for those home-hunters who have their sights set on a city centre flat now is the time to see what’s available.”