Today’s article is a bit of a two-parter. The first part is an interview that Rob gave to BBC Manchester about house prices and growth in Manchester. The second part is an instructional video about how to use home.co.uk and Zoopla to determine property hotspots and house price rises in any given area.
Rob Jones on BBC Radio Manchester – House Prices and Growth
Sam: Shall we talk about housing because we’ve been talking about all this, all morning here on BBC Radio Manchester, actually.
And, in fact, yesterday on the show we were talking, if you remember, about the changing face of Manchester’s skyline.
But Manchester United’s come out top in a poll, of course, hasn’t it, Phil?
Phil: Yeah, this is a Zoopla poll and basically, what they did, they took all the Premier League grounds and all the houses which were in close proximity to those grounds.
They worked out how much they were worth and how much they’re worth now and it turns out that the houses near Old Trafford have seen the biggest increase in their value, 6.1%, that’s compared to just 3%, nationally.
And it means that they’ve got an average price of £235,708. That’s very specific.
But what’s it like actually living there. Can you imagine living next to a football ground where, regularly, at least 19 times a season, about 80,000 people walk past your front garden?
Our reporter, Michael Friis has been finding out…
Resident 1: Match days can be a pain in the backside. Traffic, generally, is bad on good days, but on the match days, it is horrific. There are warnings all over the trams and the trains saying, ‘increased congestion’. And you do physically see that, as well, you’re like sardines in there.
Resident 2: The worst thing is the rubbish that’s left by all the fans, afterwards and I don’t think the council do enough to tidy up and clean up after themselves. Everyone makes complaints about it but nothing gets done.
Resident 3: Transport can be a bit of a nightmare. They put single trams on, it gets a bit ridiculous because they are just, absolutely, jam-packed. Especially because I’ve got two kids, as well.
Resident 4: We live in terraced houses so we’ve all got entries and with any available entry, cars will park up there because you can’t park on the road because you need a permit. So, if anything happens and we need to get access to entry, we’ve got no chance, at all. And they will remove any bins, they’ll remove anything, out the way so they can park their cars there and they’re obviously there for a few hours.
Resident 5: We need more bins, especially off Matt Busby Way. There are bins, but there’s nothing around here for any litter so that could be something that could be looked into.
Resident 6: They’re not on top of the litter, at all. They really need to get that sorted.
Resident 7: I don’t think there are enough bins, round here, either. I think that could help if there were more bins.
Resident 8: We bought our apartment a few years ago and you can see the stadium from our bedroom window and I’m certain that’s why my boyfriend said we had to have that apartment because you could see Old Trafford. We also quite enjoy walking down to Old Trafford, getting the hot doughnuts from the doughnut stand and then walking back and watching the game on TV. That’s a highlight.
Drawbacks? Not really. You can definitely tell when it’s a match day, near us, because there are cars abandoned, every available opportunity. But it doesn’t cause any mayhem, at all. We really like it.
Phil: How do you feel Sam? Would you want to be next to a football ground?
Sam: Absolutely not. I can think of nothing worse. I fume when I get stuck in the Old Trafford traffic much like our paper reviewer from earlier on, who lives near the Etihad. I live just off… Well, I live in Sale but it’s down the road. If I’m coming back from town or I’ve nipped up Salford Quays and I’ve miss-timed it. Oh, I fume.
Phil: You know, I remember when I used to go and watch Stockport County at Edgeley Park and the houses near there on a match day… Forget it. If you wanted to park outside your house, you’ve got no chance.
Sam: No, if you’re going to do your shopping you can never get back.
Phil: So is it a blessing, is it a curse? Robert Jones is the director of Property Investments UK. They are based in Manchester. Morning to you Robert.
Rob Jones: Hi, good morning.
Phil: So, for some, heaven. For others, it’s purgatory by the sound of it. Are there any advantages to living near a football ground?
Rob Jones: Well, certainly, as you heard from your other comments it’s definitely difficult with traffic. There are definitely issue with things like rubbish and litter around match days.
But, the other underlying benefit, certainly from Old Trafford’s point of view, from a house price point of view, there are lots of benefits to it.
So, if you’re a Manchester United fan, I’m sure there’s a benefit of living locally to the ground, as well but there are other benefits.
Phil: I can imagine that people do put their names down for houses, close to Old Trafford. Are they necessarily people that are going to stay and remain in Manchester or is it just those supporters that fancy somewhere to stay-over when they come to watch the games?
Rob Jones: No, I certainly think home ownership is key because Old Trafford and Trafford, in general, and Manchester, in general, is very buoyant at the moment. But there are lots of other hallmarks around the Old Trafford area that give an indication of the potential for house price growth.
There are reasons why people would want to live there over-and-above match days and watching the football.
Phil: I’m really interested in this, Robert. What makes an area buoyant? So, anywhere in Greater Manchester, not just Old Trafford. What would make it buoyant? What would increase your house price?
Rob Jones: So, there are certain underlying fundamentals that typically work quite well in any area of residential housing.
So, good access to quality transport links. Cornbrook station, for example, is a key example of that, as close to Old Trafford and close to the Manchester area.
You’ve also got local housing development. There is quite a lot of old land being regenerated. A lot of old commercial buildings are being regenerated, around those areas, that can really help and assist with house price growth.
And then, other fundamentals, like schools. Old Trafford, especially, has got a very good reputation for schools.
So there are lots of reasons why homeowners might want to move to those particular locations.
Sam: It’s interesting, isn’t it? When you get a place that’s just so thriving. Somewhere like Didsbury or Chorlton. Everyone then, who looks around, goes, ‘Well, I can’t afford to live in Didsbury or Chorlton, what’s the next Didsbury or Chorlton?’
People become obsessed with trying to find that next place and go, ‘Look, it’s not the nicest of areas now but give it 5 years, give it 10 years’.
Does it get to a point where if enough people move there it almost becomes a critical mass and things do turn around?
Rob Jones: Yeah, absolutely and it’s a very simplistic way of seeing house price growth but it’s very often true and it’s easy to spot across different areas.
If you were to look at Manchester and Greater Manchester, you’ve got high-value areas, like you mentioned, Didsbury and Chorlton. Sale, Altrincham, Prestwich, Cheadle Hulme. All those locations, historically and typically, have been quite high, affluent areas.
If you look close by to those locations, there are slightly more affordable areas that if you are priced out those high-value locations then going next-door, let’s say, could be more in Budget.
And that’s usually a typical move, for a lot of homeowners that want to live close by to those other key amenities but can’t necessarily afford it just yet.
Sam: And then you get the daft names, don’t you? I used to live in Withington and I once did hear an estate agent refer to it as North Didsbury.
Phil: What interests me, Robert, especially because you mention Cornbrook, is the whole Metrolink factor.
If you’re on the Metrolink lines you can be in Bury, you can be in Altrincham you could be in Wythenshawe. Fantastic, if you’ve got the Metrolink.
Are you stuffed if you’re in, say, Bolton or Stockport?
Rob Jones: I don’t think so. You still a great transport links close by to those areas. It would, certainly, be fantastic if the Metrolink did go out to those wider areas. Certainly, if you’re on the Metrolink line, now, it’s fantastic to get anywhere in Manchester. It’s quite easy, it’s quite simple.
There are downsides to it, in some parts, but generally, it’s very popular.
Phil: So, just give us a little insight, finally, Robert, if Sam and I wanted to invest at the moment, where is up-and-coming? Where in Greater Manchester would you say, ‘Right, that’s the next place?’
Rob Jones: Sam mentioned some of the higher-value areas. If you can’t afford to live in those locations, just yet, then look at places, close by.
Old Trafford, as you say, is very buoyant. Hulme, places like Burnage, Stretford, Broad Heath are all close to some of the high-value areas.
And then, maybe outliers like Bury, that are performing quite well at the moment.
Sam: Monton, is where my friend is moving to. He said it’s the new Didsbury.
Phil: Robert Jones, director of Property Investments UK.
Using home.co.uk and Zoopla to Find Areas of House Price Growth
Hello and welcome to today’s video, which is where we’re going to be looking at house prices and growth across the UK and at how you can spot that. Specifically, we’ll be focusing on Manchester house prices for the purpose of this case study.
So, this is really to show you the tools and techniques that we use in our own business, Property Investments UK, to map out and potentially spot up-and-coming areas, find property hotspots, what to look for, what to consider and exactly how to pull it all together.
We get asked all the time how to choose one particular area over-and-above another area for property investment but this guide is also relevant if you’re looking to buy your own home as well and are trying to understand capital growth or value growth for the houses you are looking at.
Today, I’m going to tell you exactly what I tell others when they approach me for help or advice. And this is very much a question for 2018. What areas should investors consider to be up-and-coming hotspots?
Now there are two ways to approach this question. The first is looking at historical data, so where have areas done quite well, recently and historically. Then there is the second way which is to try and look into the future. So, where might be becoming popular? Where might become the next hotspot?
Using Zoopla, we are going to try and spot a few indicators of future, house-price growth and we will also be using home.co.uk to look at historical growth, as well.
Using home.co.uk to Determine House Price Growth
If you put in the area here, so, Manchester is where we are looking at house prices, today. We click on this tab, ‘Prices and Rents’ and ‘House Prices’, here and then click ‘Find’.
What that will do is bring you to a data-set within home.co.uk where you can look at anything you want. So you’ve got asking prices, selling times, time on the market and selling prices.
All of these are really relevant to understand how an area might be performing. Selling prices are the most accurate, in terms of the physical and actual prices achieved for properties, over-and-above, let’s say, asking prices.
The downside to looking at selling prices is they are usually a couple of months out of date, or behind. It takes a bit of time for the Land Registry to update that data. But, it’s definitely the most accurate indication of a physical price, achieved.
So, to give some context around that, this graph here is showing data up to October 2017. Now, if we were to click on asking prices for the same area or time frame that will show us data up to January 2018. So, you can see here that the data is a bit more recent for the asking prices category but it doesn’t tell us the actual sold price, it just tells us the prices that properties were being marketed as.
But, of course, use the data-set that is best for you.
If we just go down here and look at what’s included in each of these pages. They’re very similar in terms of the data, it’s just what set of information is looking at.
The asking price, here, is broken down into property types and then you can also see the level of change, over here on the right hand side. This can be quite helpful as it shows you here, for example, that flats have had the biggest increase in asking prices, for the Manchester area, in that time frame.
The data, of course, is only as good as the source that it is being pulled from. So, to take flats, for example, if there has been a lot of new-build apartments introduced into the market, then that can really impact the asking prices.
It’s important to take factors like this into consideration. If you are looking at an area then you need to take everything into account and really try and understand the lay of the land. You need to ask yourself, whether there have been any new developments or new housing estates as this can really impact property prices.
Continuing, if we scroll down there is information split by median and also asking prices based on the on the average number of bedrooms.
There is some further information, here, based on the number of properties for sale, as well.
So, all of this is great and it will give you a lot of extra insights into the area you are researching and it will show you the data in any way that you prefer.
You can take information like this, properties advertised for sale in an area and from that get a good idea about how active or buoyant a market might be, whether there is a lack of supply, for the demand and how all those factors could be impacting prices.
But unless you’re looking at lots and lots of data, are very experienced at looking at data and understand what factors actually impact sale prices, supply and demand for any given location then it can be really hard to understand, area to area, where is potentially going to be the next property hotspot.
And by ‘property hotspot’, what I mean is areas of house price growth or an area that is really getting set to fly in terms of prices or regeneration.
Now, these data sets are great at putting house prices into a historical context but they don’t provide a simple way of helping you understand where the next hotspot might be.
So here we have the sold prices that we just clicked on which will give us a context for understanding house prices in a given area, in this case, Manchester.
If wanted to compare areas in Greater Manchester with each other, so, say, Thameside, Salford, Trafford or anywhere else, then simply open a couple of tabs and, compare the windows next to each other for a particular property type (say, a semi-detatched house or a flat).
So you can see here apartments, flats, pretty much flat-line in terms of pricing over the time-frame we are looking at.
However, detached and semi-detached houses have gone quite well whereas terraced houses have slightly reduced in value, over time.
This is where it becomes important to understand the area that you are looking at because postcode to postcode within Greater Manchester, there is a lot of nuance. Some locations have grown whereas others have stayed static or even seen houses depreciate in value.
Undertanding context in any given area is very important.
But, if you are wanting to look at historical data and want to dig into lots of different kinds of information then house price reports, as you can see here, gives you local locations as well.
This is also a great way of gaining an understanding of what local prices are doing.
Using zoopla.co.uk To Find Property Hotspots
Moving onto property search with Zoopla. Zoopla.co.uk provides a quick way of understanding where the next property hotspot might be and this is how we do it at Property Investments UK, for ourselves and clients that we work with, as well.
So, let’s just enter in a given area, Manchester, for example. Then we click search and that will give us further search options and show us the properties that are available in our chosen area.
And what we are looking for is an indication of the best area for us to invest in 2018, for the purposes of this case study.
The Zoopla Heat Map
We don’t want to play around too much with the filter sets, at this stage, as we are not looking for individual properties but at areas. So, if we click into the Zoopla heat map we will see it change from a regular map to one that is colour coded.
We can put the price, here, up to the maximum price and then do the same with the minimum price option. So, here we can see that the property ‘pins’ have been removed and what we are left with is a colour coded ‘representation’ of the area.
Then if we scross down, the and the further we scroll the more detailed it is all going to be.
What we have now is a map of Manchester and off to the top left-hand side, we’ve got the context of the colour coding. So, dark red is high prices and dark blue, low prices. Now we can really start to understand where the different hotspots might be from the heat-spots on the map.
So, these are existing properties that are on the market for sale and how they look from a house price, point of view.
There are olots of things that can change a property market. Manchester is no different to anywhere else in that the things that move the needle on, in terms of house prices, are things that make a particular area more attractive to live in, when compared to a different area.
As always it’s about supply and demand.
Access to transport links are very important. Manchester has had the Merolink for a number of years and it’s being extended all the time into different areas of the city and surrounding area.
It is noticable that areas, close to Metro stations are showing signs of really good growth. Old Trafford, for example, is very close to the link station, Cornbrook and it has its own Metro station, as well, near the stadium.
This means Old Trafford is very well connected to other parts of Manchester, including Media City, the city centre and a whole host of Manchester suburbs
Schools are also extremely important for house price growth.
Trafford, the bourough that Old Trafford is in, is renowned for having very good schools. So, that’s another indication that house price growth is likely.
But a very simple way of looking at it is just considering where the overspill locations might be from already affluent locations.
So, Manchester, for example, you’ve got Chorlton here, a little bit further South you’ve got Withington, across here to the East you’ve got Didsbury and the Heatons.
You can see here these are quite high value locations as they are dark red. But the locations nearby, so, Burnage, for example, Old Trafford, Stretford, they look like they are more affordable.
Investing Next Door To A High-Value Area
For individuals or homeowners, tenants, investors that want to live, buy or invest in those locations, if they can’t currently afford these higher-value, affluent areas, it’s very easy to see why they might look to these nearby locations.
So, when we’re looking for the next kind of property hotspot we would always look for these areas of lighter blue moving into the more orangy spots.
That typically is a good combination of yields and also a good combination of potential house price growth.
We tend to stay clear from some of the darker blue locations, they might indicate quite tough areas for historic house price growth and, with that in mind, future house price growth, as well.
Putting It All Together
Very simply, if we were looking to invest, in 2018, somewhere in Manchester, we’d be probably looking further afield and in Greater Manchester.
So, Cheadle and Stockport are show some great signs. Scrolling down a bit further we’ve got Broadheath which looks like a great area for house price growth.
You can see here these very high-value locations close by so it’s easy to see how people could spill-over and look to purchase and live in these locations, instead. But certainly, Old Trafford, Burnage, further North towards sort of Prestwich, the Monton area are very good.
If we’re to scroll out or look a bit further North, Bury is looking quite a good location, currently.
Hopefully, that helps and gives you a good indication of how we look at house price growth and how we look at changing price points in Manchester in 2018.
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