New research from Fair Fix, the boiler engineer experts, reveals that demand for homes with fireplaces in the UK is high, but low stock levels mean hopeful buyers will have a hard time securing one this winter, especially in Manchester.
An open fireplace is one property feature that can make for a postcard perfect Christmas, but what chance do homebuyers have when it comes to actually securing one in the current market?
Fair Fix analysed current property stock across 14 major UK cities to see which boasts an abundance of homes with fireplaces, as well as where buyer demand is strongest.
Stock is calculated by measuring the number of current property listings that have fireplaces as a percentage of all current listings. Demand is calculated by measuring the number of available listings with fireplaces against those that are already sold subject to contract (SSTC). So, if there are 100 fireplace homes on the market and 50 are SSTC, demand is 50%.
The data shows that across the 14 major cities, just 15% of current property listings come with a fireplace. Demand for fireplaces, however, is incredibly strong, averaging 48%.
At 72%, demand for an open fireplace is at its highest in Glasgow, while it’s a similar picture in Bristol where demand sits at 62%, followed by Sheffield (55%), Edinburgh (53%), and Newcastle (51%).
Even in Swansea, where buyer demand for fireplaces is at its lowest, 40% of listings boasting this winter warming property feature have already sold subject to contract.
However, the bad news for homebuyers who want to enjoy the warmth of a crackling fire is that stock levels are scarce.
Their best bet of finding a fireplace fit property is in Swansea, Leeds or Bradford, but even then, just 22% of current for sale stock boasts a fireplace.
Buyers will find it much more difficult in Manchester where just 5% of homes on the market have a fireplace.
And it won’t be much easier in Liverpool (8%), Glasgow (12%), or Birmingham (13%) either.
Founder of Fair Fix, Tye Ekrem, said, “A fireplace is a powerful pull for homebuyers regardless of where in the country you look. They hold a certain romance and undeniable charm, not to mention the fact they can also help keep your home nice and toasty during the winter months.
The bad news is that in the current market, stock levels are limited, although you will have a better chance of finding a fireplace property in some cities versus others.
However, an open fireplace does have its downsides. Not least the mess, maintenance, and, most importantly of all, the safety of having naked flames in the house – especially if children or pets are around.
Furthermore, the cost and efficiency of heating a home with fire is not as good as you might think – certainly when it comes to heating the whole home. You’re much better off with a modern boiler running at maximum efficiency which can be incredibly affordable.
The expense of central heating comes when the boiler isn’t regularly checked and maintained and therefore fails to operate properly. So if you install a modern boiler and ensure it’s inspected regularly by a qualified engineer, you’re going to enjoy a much more cosy winter than those who are relying on their fireplace.”