House prices in Sheffield down in real terms but market is 'buoyant' for first-time buyers

Prices across the city have fallen by an average of 13.5 per cent in the last ten years in real terms
Prices across the city have fallen by an average of 13.5 per cent in the last ten years in real terms

House prices in every council ward in Sheffield have fallen in the last 10 years but the market for first-time buyers is still buoyant, say city estate agents.

House prices in every council ward in Sheffield have fallen in the last 10 years but the market for first-time buyers is still buoyant, say city estate agents.

A report by the Office for National Statistics, the Land Registry and other bodies showed the average home increased by five per cent this year up to August.

The figure was up from an annual increase of 4.5 per cent in July, with the north west leading the way for growth.

But in Sheffield over the last 10 years, house prices have fallen on average by 13.5 per cent taking inflation into account.

A good sign for people trying to get on the ladder perhaps, but ‘location, location, location’ still plays a massive role in the city with a huge gulf in the average price, say city estate agents.

The average price of a house in the Burngreave ward stands at £72,000 compared to a eye-watering average of £316,000 in Dore and Totley.

The research means although house prices may have gone up in some areas of Sheffield, it has not been as fast as the rate at which prices in the rest of the economy have risen.

A report shows every ward in Sheffield has seen house prices fall over the past 10 years with prices falling by a massive 35 per cent in Burngreave. Greenhill and Beauchief saw a 1.3 per cent drop.

City estate agents agree prices in the leafy south west are holding up and are expected to get pricier – making it increasingly harder for first-time buyers in those areas.

Woodseats and Hillsborough are still popular with first-time buyers with Kelham Island and more recently Stocksbridge becoming popular with those getting onto the ladder.

But first-time buyers will not be starting out on a property on Whirlow Park Road, in Whirlow, anytime soon.

Another list published by property website Zoopla identified it as Sheffield’s most expensive road with an average price at an eye-popping £940,000.

Stuart Goff, from Hunters Estate Agents in Crookes, said: “Maybe 15 to 20 years ago you would have a couple who would meet and would both live at home with their parents for three or even four years and would manage to rack up a decent deposit to buy somewhere.

“Now what’s more common is couples moving in together sooner into rented accommodation paying anything from £550 to £600 a month, sometimes even more. After paying rent, bills and so on, lots would struggle to save for the deposit. The rental market has seen a real boom in Sheffield and the real problem is rents can be £200 a month more expensive than a mortgage. Again it’s about getting that deposit – it’s easier now than it once was with some buyers only now need to put down five per cent in some cases.”

Stuart said Woodseats, Hillsborough and Walkley were still popular areas for first-time buyers but young professionals, such as ‘solicitors and accountants’, are heading to places like Crookes for a first-time property.

“It’s a fragmented market in Sheffield and South Yorkshire. This affects first-time buyers and those who may want to trade-up to a more desirable area the and it’s all down to postcodes,” he said.

“S10, S11, S17 are the most popular areas and this is replicated in the price.”

Linda Crapper, from Saxton Mee, said it can be hard for first-time buyers but those looking to get on the ladder need to be smart.

She added prices in the most desirable areas ‘have held up’ and prices have surpassed the 2007 levels.

The age-old argument of supply and demand still exists.

“Plain and simple, there just isn’t enough properties in the areas people want them to satisfy demand,” she said.

“Again, with Sheffield, it’s all about location, location, location. If you’re a first-time buyer and you set your sights on something in the south-west of the city – you’ll be up against it if you don’t have the wages and deposit to back it up. Head towards Wincobank, Pitsmoor, Fir Vale then you’ll find it easier.

“In those areas where demand is high, lots of properties go for ‘first and final offers’ – it’s still tough for first time buyers. They need to be savvy to get onto the ladder. If they manage to get on in the right areas, they’ll be fine.”

Linda pointed to two areas that are becoming popular with first-time buyers.

Kelham Island is an area which is increasingly popular with people trying to get on the ladder. The newer eco-friendly developments went like a rocket.

“One area I have seen explode in the last two years is Stocksbridge. It used to be snubbed by people living in Sheffield because it could be seen as far out,” added Linda.

“Now, I’m seeing lots of people moving out there and to the new housing development where prices are cheaper in some of the more desirable areas in Sheffield.

“It’s a classic case of new amenities and developments like Fox Valley which has boosted the area.

“The new development will soon sell out – it’s had a lot of interest and it could do with more properties.”