Despite the spectre of Brexit looming ever closer, there are a few very bright spots in the UK’s housing market, and one of the newest comes from a surprising area: Hull.
…I should say ‘surprising to some’. Many writers have been calling for a rebirth of interest in the housing market in the North for years. Still, new developments on the national and international scales all seem to point to Hull being the centre of a thriving housing and rental market in just a few years’ time, and maybe sooner than that.
What has changed?
Hull hasn’t been particularly exciting as a property market for decades, and some would say ‘since before the last war’. Why should we expect that to change now?
For one reason, Philip Hammond announced that he will be heading up an abrupt U-turn from Osborne’s austerity-based system. The Chancellor specifically said that he would be prioritising housing and infrastructure construction in an effort to shore up the UK’s economy in preparation for a less traumatic Brexit.
At the same time, Hammond announced that the UK would be borrowing some £2 billion to encourage new homes to be built all across the country. More details are to follow in the Autumn Statement, due to come out in November.
Of course, that doesn’t point to Hull. The Yorkshire Post, however, has outlined a few specific reasons to expect Hull to become a business and construction hotspot in the next few years. Citing the fact that Hull will shortly become the UK’s next City of Culture and the site of a substantial sustainable power infrastructure-building initiative, The Yorkshire Post expects Hull to undergo a similar rebirth to the American city of Detroit, which also spent decades in near obscurity to suddenly regain its standing as a financial and industrial powerhouse.
Some of the investment in Hull’s industrial heart include:
- Seimens’ £310 million wind farm manufacturing centre
- Reckitt Benckiser’s £150 million R&D facility
- A £200 million waste-to-energy project
- The expansion of INEOS Oxide’s Ethyl Acetate facilities
- The investment of more than £100 million in housing by Hull City Council
- Massive renovations and reconstruction projects in the city centre in preparation for the yearlong City of Culture events
But what are prices like now?
Property prices in Hull are surprisingly low, all things considered. The largest construction projects are only just beginning, but once completed they are expected to draw many new faces to the city – far more than the housing development increases of recent years can easily supply. When that demand begins to skyrocket, though, the rental and purchase prices of property in and around the city, and even in the towns and villages surrounding it, will rise accordingly.
All told, it might just be the perfect time to invest in property in the region. Of course, it could all go sideways as well. If things were certain, the prices would already be high.