Rising number of leasehold properties, research reveals

Wednesday 9th November 2016

An average of 15% of residential properties are leaseholds, according to research carried out by My Home Move of more than 20 million property transaction records in England and Wales.
This rises acutely to 53% and 46% in the leasehold hotspots of London and Manchester. 
Generally speaking, leasehold properties take longer to buy and include additional legal obligations and costs that freeholds don't usually have, which is something that puts many buyers off this type of property. 
According to My Home Move's findings, which analysed Land Registry's price paid data, areas that have witnessed extensive regeneration and redevelopment such as London’s N1C postcode and Manchester's M15 and M50 postcodes top the list of leasehold hotspots, with a leasehold proportion in some cases of over 90%. 
It's also the case that the centres of major cities have a much higher number of leaseholds than freeholds, with Liverpool, Birmingham and Newcastle also having areas that made the Top Twenty leaseholds hotspots list. 
The reasons for this are rising property prices and high population density in city centres make property development an attractive and profitable venture in these areas. 
“The redevelopment of England and Wales’ towns and cities over the last 30 years means there are more leasehold properties on the market, as new build apartment blocks are constructed and old warehouses are converted into flats,” Doug Crawford, CEO of My Home Move, commented. 
“Controversially, even some new build houses in suburban and rural areas are now sold as leasehold properties. The investment has given the countries’ housing stock a very welcome boost, but it also means that buyers are more likely to encounter a leasehold property than ever before.”
He added: “While the high proportion of leaseholds in the centre of major cities will shock few developers and estate agents, would-be buyers looking to claim a little piece of the city as their own may be in for surprise. Leaseholds make up almost all of the housing stock in some of our cities’ redeveloped districts, and the proportion of leaseholds could grow even more as additional new developments come onto the market.”
While central London is a hotbed for residential leasehold properties, it's a less common trait in Greater London postcodes. West London postcodes, meanwhile, have a slightly higher proportion of leaseholds than the number found in areas of East London. 
What's more, some postcodes in London (SE2), Manchester (M21) and Birmingham (B21) also have a very small number of leaseholds.  
Berwickshire and rural Wales, though, have the lowest proportion of leaseholds in the country. 

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