South West

High employment rates and a thriving start-up scene are driving property process in the South West; the region is expecting a 5.31% average price increase by 2021.

This is the seventh highest increase across 12 UK regions.

Predicted Property Hotspots

The South West of England is home to some of the UK’s most desirable locations, from the Cornish coast to the Roman city of Bath. It also has the largest area of outstanding beauty in the UK, the Cotswolds.

The largest upwards increase in average house prices is expected to occur in the following four districts:

  1. Cotswold in Gloucestershire
  2. East Dorset in Dorset
  3. Christchurch in Dorset
  4. South Hams in Devon

The South West has one of the highest employment rates in the country at 76.9%, which is helping to push up property prices across the region. Within the South West, the Cotswold district has one of the highest current employment rates of any local authority area (85.4%), meaning that average household incomes in the area are particularly strong. Likewise Christchurch has an above average employment rate (83.0%), which means there is strong competition for people trying to find property, which in turn drives up prices.

Business start-ups are also an important indicator of demand for housing. Cotswold district has the highest level of business start-up rates per capita in the region (120.3 starts each year per 10,000 working age adult), which has helped place it at the top of the list in the South West.

East Dorset also has a high business start-up rate, with 97 starts each year per 10,000 adults. As well as this, 55% of those currently working in the area commute in from neighbouring areas, which is putting pressure on available housing as people look to move closer to their workplace and is pushing up prices.

In South Hams the main predictor for property price increases is the level of education in the area. More than half (51%) of adults in South Hams have a degree level qualification or higher, which indicates larger future earnings potential and is indicative of potential future house price pressure in the area.

Investment Snapshot

  • Investors in the South West own four properties on average. The average total value of a property portfolio in the region is £1,066,738. This the third highest in the UK after London and the South East
  • Across all UK respondents, more than one in 10 (12%) own property/properties in this region. Over a third (37%) of these properties are being used for rental income
  • Thirty-four per cent of investors in the South West are planning to buy new property/ properties in the next three to five years
  • They are confident about their investment prospects – investors in the South West expect the average value of the property / properties they own to increase by 9.4% over the next three to five years (compared to national average of 8.0%)

Key findings

The Barclays UK Property Predictor reveals the areas across the UK where house prices and rental incomes are expected to rise. The research uses factors such as rental trends, employment levels and commuter behaviours, as well as a survey of high net worth individuals to understand where and why they plan to buy in the future.

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