Countryside living is driving "supergroup" house price growth during the pandemic
We give market commentary when journalists or news outlets approach us directly for comment on specific topics. We share our commentary here too. See below.
While "Supergroups" may sound like a bricks and mortar music act formed by Simon Cowell, they're actually a designation given to each local authority based largely on factors concerning geography and population... And different types have performed very differently since the pandemic.
Our research this week has revealed which property market supergroup has been most influenced by the pandemic where house price growth is concerned.
There are eight supergroups - affluent England, countryside living, ethnically diverse metropolitan living, London cosmopolitan, service and industrial legacy, town and country living, urban settlements and business, education and heritage centres.
We analysed house price growth across every supergroup local authority since the first case of Covid was reported in the UK at the end of January 2020, to see how the pandemic was impacting each segment of the market.
Country living is driving supergroup house prices
The research shows that since the start of the pandemic house prices in England have increased by 8%, however, just two supergroups have seen above-average growth. Both countryside living and town and country living have seen house price growth exceed the national average at 8.8% and 8.4% respectively. A rate of growth that has no doubt been driven by the trend of homebuyers heading for the hills in search of bigger homes and more green space.
This house price performance has been driven by Ryedale (24.5%), the Derbyshire Dales (16.7%) and East Lindsey (16.3%) within the countryside living supergroup, and Melton (17.6%), South Staffordshire (15.1%) and Daventry (15%) within the town and country living supergroup.
How do the other supergroup property markets stack up?
The service and industrial legacy supergroup ranks third for pandemic house price performance. Largely located within the central belt of Scotland, northern England and south Wales, these supergroup locations are largely located in traditional mining areas. While the traditional mining industry may have all but disappeared, property values in these supergroup locations have increased by 7.6% since January of last year.
Business, education and heritage centres are the next best performing supergroup property markets as a whole, with pandemic house prices growth at 7%. These locations are largely based around bigger cities with a regional or national importance, suggesting the appetite for city living hasn’t completely vanished.
Urban settlements (6.7%), ethnically diverse metropolitan living (6.4%) and perhaps, surprisingly, affluent England (6%) have all seen house price growth below 7% since the start of the pandemic.
London has arguably been one of the worst-hit areas due to Covid, with so many now working from home, removing the need for a commuter-friendly property. This decline in demand has had a notable impact on house prices, with London cosmopolitan ranking as the worst-performing supergroup with just a 3.5% increase since the start of last year.
Thoughts & analysis
Matthew Cooper, Founder & Managing Director of Yes Homebuyers, commented:
“Supergroups provide great insight into how certain types of towns or cities are performing, rather than us looking at top-line trends based on geography alone.
From a property standpoint, it’s clear that the current pandemic has caused a shift within the property market, driven by an increase in homebuyer appetites for country living.
In contrast, London continues to struggle, with house price growth notably lower than all other supergroups. Although we’ve started to ease our way towards normality, it could be sometime before demand for London property returns to a point at which house price growth will accelerate.”
House price data sourced from the UK House Price Index - Feb 2020 to Jan 2021 (latest available data)
Supergroup locations and definitions sourced from ONS: Loneliness rates and well-being indicators by local authority (contained within the downloaded spreadsheet under the supergroup tabs)
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