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The biggest freehold property hotspots to avoid a leasehold nightmare revealed

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With the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this week showing that the number of leasehold house sales has plummeted following the scandal that emerged in 2016, leading property finance specialist, One 77 Mortgages, has looked at where across the UK is home to the biggest freehold hotspots to give home buyers peace of mind when looking to buy a house.

While the majority of flats in the UK are sold on a leasehold basis and have been for decades, changes to the way houses were sold over the last few years has meant that some houses are sold on a leasehold basis which can see increasing ground rents that in some cases double every five to 10 years, meaning some homeowners will be paying some eye-watering amounts further down the line.

The leasehold purchase of a house can also cause issues during a sale with them being less desirable which impacts on its market value. A leasehold house can also cause issues on the mortgage front, with some lenders refusing to lend against them if the terms of the ground rent is deemed excessive.

With this in mind, One 77 analysed data from the ONS to find where in England and Wales was home to the highest number of freehold sales in the last year, for those looking to buy without the addition of a leasehold nightmare.

Top 10

The data shows that last year, the most freehold properties were sold in Leeds, with 9,841 freehold transactions. Birmingham was the second-best option for a freehold sale with 8,752 properties sold as such, with Cornwall ranking third with 8,726.

County Durham is the fourth largest and number one hotspots in the North East with 7,255 freehold sales last year. Wiltshire, Bradford, East Riding of Yorkshire, Cheshire East, Wakefield and Cheshire West and Chester complete the top 10 in England and Wales.

Most by other region

At 4,462, Central Bedfordshire is home to the highest number of freehold sales in the East of England, with Cardiff topping the table in Wales with 4,072. Medway (3,400) saw the most in the South East, while Derby has the highest number in the East Midlands (3,257) and Bromley ranking as the London borough home to the most at 2,919.

Managing Director of One 77 Mortgages, Alastair McKee said, “Leasehold houses can be a tricky business and it pays to know your stuff when it comes to leasehold properties. For example, a lender won’t usually touch a leasehold house if the lease is for around 70 years or less. Typically, any mortgage lender will be looking to run terms for as much as 30 years beyond the end of your mortgage as a safeguard and so a 25-year mortgage will require a minimum of 50 to 60 years left on a lease.

“While you might scrape by on a 70-year lease, the reality is that your property will be extremely hard to sell and that’s where the complications can arise from a lender’s perspective.

“Of course, these issues only really apply to houses and when buying a flat you have little to worry about regardless of the lease, however, for those getting cold feet on a house purchase, there’s are plenty of freehold options as this research shows.

“While you might have to search a little harder and pay that little bit more, it will more than benefit you on a long-term basis.”

Top 10 in England and Wales
Local Authority Region Freehold Sales*
Leeds Yorkshire and The Humber 9,841
Birmingham West Midlands 8,752
Cornwall South West 8,726
County Durham North East 7,255
Wiltshire South West 7,038
Bradford Yorkshire and The Humber 6,529
East Riding of Yorkshire Yorkshire and The Humber 6,199
Cheshire East North West 5,845
Wakefield Yorkshire and The Humber 5,341
Cheshire West and Chester North West 5,062
*Number of freehold sales in 2018

 

Top 5 in Yorkshire & the Humber
Local Authority Region Freehold Sales*
Leeds Yorkshire and The Humber 9,841
Bradford Yorkshire and The Humber 6,529
East Riding of Yorkshire Yorkshire and The Humber 6,199
Wakefield Yorkshire and The Humber 5,341
Kirklees Yorkshire and The Humber 4,804
*Number of freehold sales in 2018
     
Top 5 in the North East
Local Authority Region Freehold Sales*
County Durham North East 7,255
Northumberland North East 4,577
Stockton-on-Tees North East 2,865
Sunderland North East 2,742
North Tyneside North East 2,707
*Number of freehold sales in 2018
     
Top 5 in the North West
Local Authority Region Freehold Sales*
Cheshire East North West 5,845
Cheshire West and Chester North West 5,062
Wirral North West 4,108
Liverpool North West 3,839
Stockport North West 3,263
*Number of freehold sales in 2018
     
Top 5 in the East Midlands
Local Authority Region Freehold Sales*
Derby East Midlands 3,257
Nottingham East Midlands 3,122
Northampton East Midlands 3,028
Charnwood East Midlands 3,013
Leicester East Midlands 2,790
*Number of freehold sales in 2018
     
Top 5 in the West Midlands
Local Authority Region Freehold Sales*
Birmingham West Midlands 8,752
Shropshire West Midlands 5,003
Dudley West Midlands 3,724
Coventry West Midlands 3,671
Stoke-on-Trent West Midlands 3,520
*Number of freehold sales in 2018
     
Top 5 in Wales
Local Authority Region Freehold Sales*
Cardiff Wales 4,072
Rhondda Cynon Taf Wales 3,354
Swansea Wales 2,727
Carmarthenshire Wales 2,717
Newport Wales 2,342
*Number of freehold sales in 2018
     
Top 5 in the South East
Local Authority Region Freehold Sales*
Medway South East 3,400
Milton Keynes South East 3,269
Aylesbury Vale South East 2,987
Basingstoke and Deane South East 2,549
Wokingham South East 2,478
*Number of freehold sales in 2018
     
Top 5 in the East of England
Local Authority Region Freehold Sales*
Central Bedfordshire East 4,462
Colchester East 2,950
Peterborough East 2,663
Huntingdonshire East 2,646
South Norfolk East 2,591
*Number of freehold sales in 2018
     
Top 5 in the South West
Local Authority Region Freehold Sales*
Cornwall South West 8,726
Wiltshire South West 7,038
Bristol, City of South West 4,356
South Gloucestershire South West 3,825
Plymouth South West 3,459
*Number of freehold sales in 2018
     
By London borough
Local Authority Region Freehold Sales*
Bromley London 2,919
Havering London 2,524
Croydon London 2,428
Bexley London 2,173
Hillingdon London 1,760
Sutton London 1,650
Barnet London 1,647
Richmond upon Thames London 1,547
Redbridge London 1,520
Enfield London 1,458
Waltham Forest London 1,438
Wandsworth London 1,367
Merton London 1,308
Lewisham London 1,244
Greenwich London 1,236
Ealing London 1,228
Barking and Dagenham London 1,207
Kingston upon Thames London 1,176
Harrow London 1,144
Hounslow London 1,071
Newham London 837
Lambeth London 728
Haringey London 721
Brent London 666
Southwark London 635
Hammersmith and Fulham London 487
Hackney London 317
Kensington and Chelsea London 305
Islington London 296
Camden London 284
Westminster London 193
Tower Hamlets London 179
City of London London 0
*Number of freehold sales in 2018



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