John Howe, partner at John Howe and Co, has stated that Leeds’ business and economic demographics makes the city more resilient to the bottom falling out of its property market during the cost of living crisis.
According to Nationwide, May saw the second consecutive month of a decline in growth of the housing market as people’s disposable incomes were hit by the impact of rising prices and energy costs.
While a wholesale property crash has been ruled out, there is a feeling that buyers will become more cautious and take longer to make a decision about purchasing a property, which will reduce house price inflation.
John said: “It is widely expected that the housing market in the North of England will do significantly better than in other parts of the country, so can the market in Leeds and its surrounding areas outperform such expectations?
“I believe it can, as Leeds’ economic characteristics will help it withstand any fall in housing market growth that is likely to be experienced elsewhere in the country.”
Leeds is the sixth richest city in the UK and the wealthiest in the north of England, according to the latest Barclays UK Prosperity map, and John cites this as one of the reasons that Leeds may divert from national housing trends over the next few years.
Leeds is also the UK’s fastest growing city and a main driver of the region with a £64.6 billion economy.
During the next ten years, its economy is forecast to increase by 21 per cent, with financial and business services set to generate more than half of Gross Value Added (GVA) growth during that period.
John, whose legal practice is based in Pudsey, said: “Leeds is home to a multitude of service and industrial sectors including education, health, scientific, print and publication, creative, digital, and retail.
“The diversity and breadth of its business foundations, the low unemployment levels, the number of mid-sized and large companies being above the national average and it being one of the country’s foremost centres for fast-growing firms, all make it highly unlikely that the property market in Leeds will be as hard hit as other areas of the UK."
Leeds has one of the most diverse economies of all the UK’s employment hubs, with financial and business services accounting for 38 per cent of total output, and the rest in other key areas including retail, leisure, construction, manufacturing and the creative and digital industries.
The plethora of careers available in the city has led to Leeds having the lowest unemployment level, except Edinburgh, when compared to 14 other major cities in the UK.
In recent years it has been rated the top English city to live in, with the Money Supermarket Quality of UK Living survey revealing that average salaries rose to £22,419.
“This could be used to its advantage," John said.
"By encouraging people and businesses from more expensive and harder hit parts of the country to relocate [to Leeds].”