Latimer: Report highlights North West England views of housing market after COVID-19

Aspiring homeowners say pandemic has negatively impacted their ability to get on the property ladder.

A new report into current perceptions around the UK housing market has shown that the Coronavirus pandemic has deepened uncertainty for potential first time buyers across the North West.

The statistics have been revealed in a report from housing developer Latimer, the development arm of Clarion Housing Group. It found 70% of people in the region looking to buy a home in the next five years believe the pandemic has had a negative impact on their ability to do so.

More than a quarter in the North West said their purchase or move had been delayed by at least three years (29%). Most worryingly for Generation Z, only 21% of 18-24 year olds think they’ll ever be able to afford a deposit without help from the Bank of Mum and Dad.

The average price of a UK home has risen by 13.4% in the last year – marking the highest annual growth rate since November 2004. House prices in North West of England were 13% up to £220,665, on the year before, and 20% up on 2018 when they averaged £194,120.

This has resulted in first time buyers needing to find larger deposits, despite the recent challenging economic climate and impact on incomes. According to the data, the average length of time those in the North West need to save for a deposit is a lengthy four years.

Richard Cook – Group Director of Development at Clarion Housing Group

Richard Cook, Group Director of Development at Clarion Housing Group, said; “There is now intense demand for new homes, but as prices escalate, some first time buyers have been pushed even further away from the dream of outright ownership.

“Meeting demand from first time buyers is why we built over 1,100 new homes for Shared Ownership last year. It is a product which allows people to get onto the housing ladder without needing huge deposits and it is becoming an ever more important part of the mixed communities we build.

“We cannot have a situation where so many young people feel that home ownership is out of reach for them and Shared Ownership must be part of the answer.”

Latimer’s study also explored what buyers are looking for in their homes. Outdoor space came top for nearly half (45%) of buyers’ property wish lists, while almost a quarter (24%) say living in a city is less important to them now.

Despite the growing trend of renovations, 44% of people want to move into a home that is ready to live in. 28% said they simply don’t have the skills to renovate a property themselves.

Latimer completed 2,126 homes in the last year. Of these homes, 90% were for affordable tenures, including 1,183 for Shared Ownership. Current developments in progress in the North include Amplify Apartments in Salford Quays, The Cocoa Works in York, and Kirkstall Road in Leeds.

The developer is part of Clarion Housing Group, the UK’s largest social housing provider, and aims to deliver mixed communities, where people living in social housing, Shared Ownership and homes for private sale live together.

As well as a commitment to quality, Clarion reinvests profits from the sale of its private homes back into delivering affordable housing.

To view Latimer’s full report, please visit

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