The housing market in Sheffield is on the up - with rising prices, packed auction rooms and the return of bidding wars all pointing to a property comeback.
The average cost of a house in the city has increased by more than four per cent in the past year, and 2.4 per cent in the last three months, a new report has found.
In Sheffield the average house price is now £130,560, the study revealed.
But estate agents say price rises are higher in the south west of the city, with increases of over eight per cent in areas such as Dore, Ecclesall and Fulwood.
Demand is far outstripping supply and bidding wars - a hallmark of the pre-recession housing boom - have re-emerged as buyers strive to secure the best properties.
Stuart Goff, managing director of Hunters estate agents, which has branches in Crookes and Woodseats, said the market was ‘very buoyant’, while Adrian Little, partner at auctions firm Mark Jenkinson and Son, said: “Prices are very strong, results have been well above expectations. Our success rate has been in excess of 90 per cent.”
The report, by property analyst Hometrack, said Sheffield’s prices are still to return to the levels before the financial crash.
At their highest point in 2007, houses in the city cost £134,737 on average.
Mr Goff, who is also the area spokesman for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, said: “The market is still fragmented and it really is still down to the postcode area. Our figures show that on average prices in south west Sheffield have gone up by about six per cent, but there are some that can be up by 7.5 per cent to 8.5 per cent.”
He added: “People are bidding against each other, as they used to before the 2008 crash.
“If you’ve got a decent property in a good area and the asking price is about right it’s not at all unusual to get 30 or 40 viewings and up to six people bidding for the house, which may well sell for above the asking price.
“In many cases houses are selling within two to three days.”
He said within the last week a property on Cobden View Road, Crookes, with an asking price of £150,000 had over 20 people telephoning to arrange a viewing.
The current problems in China will ‘probably not’ affect market conditions, and neither would a small interest rate increase of 0.25 per cent, said Mr Goff.
Meanwhile, Mr Little said auctions were ‘a thermometer’ of the wider property market.
“Our last two auctions have been the best post-recession sales we’ve had since 2007-2008,” he said.
“It’s a very good time to buy, and a very good time to sell. If you’ve got the cash there are some very good opportunities out there.”
But many more new houses are needed to meet demand, Mr Little continued.
“Demand for housing is now well outstripping supply. I hope to, and we will, see more new properties become available.
“I could sell probably double the amount of residential properties I have at the moment.”
A lack of available funds had hampered sales and property developments, he said.
“It’s a little bit like trying to drive a car without any oil in the engine. The mechanism is in place but the fuel - the finance for the development process - has not been there in any growing quantity.”
Across the country, house prices jumped by the highest quarterly level in 11 years, the report found.
The average price of a house in the UK’s top 20 cities is now £227,100 – up from £214,800 in February.
A further study by website eMoov declared Sheffield the nation’s capital for ‘gazumping’ - where the seller of a home accepts an offer but then rejects it in favour of a higher bid.
Almost a third of buyers had been gazumped when looking to buy a property, a steep increase of 25 per cent in the last 10 months, a survey of 1,000 homeowners discovered.