Londoners are buying homes in York as they abandon the daily commute, estate agent reveals

Strange times for the property market. Photograph: Andrew Matthews / PA Wire
21 Sep 2020 @ 7.56 am
| Housing

York residents looking to buy a house in the city now face added competition.

Londoners are moving to the city as they abandon their daily commute as a result of the lockdown.

One York estate agent says they are receiving regular inquiries from the capital as people seek to change their working lives permanently.

Ben Hudson, managing director of Hudson Moody in York, said: “A number of our buyers are coming from London, as it’s comparatively cheap here compared to the capital.

“They’re selling up their homes in Wandsworth and Clapham and buying a four-bed detached house in York, because they’ll only be commuting from here once or twice a week, something they would never have been able to consider doing before.”

Demand rising

Properties for sale in a York estate agent’s window. Photograph: YorkMix

We reported last week that demand for homes in York has risen by 28% in the last year, and that house prices had risen higher than the national average since 2015.

Interest in York from Londoners has also been encouraged by the Government’s stated plan to make the city a key hub outside the capital, and even a potential home for the House of Lords.

However, Ben said in his experience house moves could take longer than normal, depending on the location and circumstances. “We’re very much having to make our buyers and sellers aware that the conveyancing process is taking longer at the minute.

“There’s a mixture of fewer council staff working so searches are taking longer, mortgages taking longer to go through, and solicitors being inundated with work.

“We’re having to call everyone involved in the sale constantly to make sure things keep moving.”

At City of York Council, however, they said they were still dealing with the work in a timely manner.

A spokesperson said: “Between 23 March and 15 September City of York local land charges dealt with 2,070 searches.

“All of these searches have been dealt with the average turnaround of 0.06 days for the response. As the figures show it is currently taking just over half a day (on average) to deal with searches when they are received, this is one of the quickest turnarounds in the country.”