As we move into 2022 we’ll look at some of the property markets that might be worth keeping an eye on this year .... and why.

Bristol

Over the last three decades Bristol has transitioned from what was sometimes considered to be a fairly sleepy west country place, in property terms at least, into a significant regional city. Not only does Bristol benefit from a great location and a sound economic base it is one of those rare large cities that just feels like a great place to live and work. Bristol already has property prices around 50% higher than the average for England but, given its many attractions, it’s hard to see how the Bristol market won’t keep on growing this year.

Aldermore’s latest Buy to Let City Tracker has recently nominated Bristol as the best city in the UK for buy to let investment.

Birmingham

Birmingham city centre has undergone almost total rebuilding in recent years. The many new and large commercial developments have created a modern city centre for the 21st century. And it’s not finished yet, with many more major city centre schemes planned. Birmingham is probably the place that will benefit most from the new HS2 high speed railway too. With work on that well underway now the Birmingham market should really start to feel the impact of it during 2022.

In the shorter term the Commonwealth Games will be held in the city in 2022. That’s likely to focus even more attention on Birmingham and bolster the property market here.

Manchester

Manchester, or Manchattan as it is now sometimes called, has seen a skyscraper building boom over the last decade. But, less obvious than the new cityscape, are the huge amounts of investment, well paid jobs in new industries such as tech. and thousands of new residents that have arrived in the city too.

It’s fair to say that the property market in Manchester has been undervalued in recent years. Even just five years ago the average house here cost under £150,000 (now £209,000). In 2022 and beyond it’s not unlikely Manchester property values will align to what is becoming a significant European city.

Leeds

In recent Leeds has moved away from its industrial roots to earn a national reputation in high value commercial sectors like finance, law and tech. Compare it with Manchester just 40 miles away though and you’ll see it’s still a city with vast underexploited potential.

HS2 to Leeds has been recently been cancelled so it will be interesting to see how that affects sentiment in the future of the city in 2022. The Government has recently promised £200m towards the cost of planning a mass transit system here however – something which, if it eventually happens, could be far more exciting for the future of the Leeds market.

Sheffield

It’s probably fair to say that Sheffield has never really recovered from losing its position as the steel capital of the world. But that has never stopped Sheffield from trying to reinvent itself. Sheffield is a city with a real sense of energy and always with an eye to the future. Add that to the fact that Sheffield has a huge student sector (said to be the largest in the UK as a proportion of the population) and still has incredibly good value property. It’s hard to see the Sheffield market not performing well in and beyond 2022.

London

London has always been in the vanguard of the UK property market. Where London has led the rest of the country has followed .... later. For probably the first time ever however that didn’t happen last year. Hampered by unaffordability and a shortage of foreign buyers due to Covid the property market in most of London has been soft and even fallen in some places, while it boomed in the rest of the country.

The London property market will be a fascinating one to watch in 2022 and even some expert forecasters are unsure what will happen. Will the London market regain its lead in 2022? Or will it begin to lag the rest of the country noticeably? (If London property becomes more affordable in 2022, however, it could attract more buyers and investors and quickly start to rise.)

Here are our thoughts from earlier this year in which we looked at some of the issues: What’s Going On In The London Property Market?

Southend on Sea

While Southend might seem an odd inclusion in this list there’s a simple reason why: Southend has recently been awarded city status. Although it’s hard to say why (and doesn’t particularly make sense) new city status tends to lift property values whenever it is awarded.

A study by comparison site GetAgent showed that on average house price growth across newly designated cities was 14.2% over the following year versus just 11.6% across England and Wales as a whole.

Southend already benefits from good access to London as well as being one of the most affordable places in the south east. It’s easily possible to see that the property market in the new City of Southend will benefit in 2022.

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