Battle of the Saints

Apr 22, 2016

Ahead of Saint George’s day, leading fixed fee estate agent, is taking a look at how our patron saint matches up from a property point of view, compared to those across the rest of the nation.

In true style, what better way to celebrate our patron saint then to have a ‘Battle of the Saints’. Since this is a hypothetical crusade, there is no righter fight than the bloodshed on property price. Although united as a nation, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all differ when it comes to the property market and their patron saints.

If you’re wanting to get the best price for your home then it looks like George is truly a Saint after all. House prices are on course to reach an all time high in England, with the average price now £274,101. With London remaining the driving factor in the market and the property boom in the Midlands, it comes as no surprise that England takes the top spot. You can practically hear the UK homesellers shout “Follow your spirit, and upon this charge Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!”.


Battle of the Saints

In a not so close second, it’s the apostle of Ireland himself, Saint Patrick. Throughout the last 12 months, Northern Ireland has seen a huge rise in property price (+4%) with the average home now costing £183,505. However, it doesn’t stop there. The latest survey from Ulster Bank and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) revealed that Northern Ireland should be expecting a rise in sales in the next three months, mirroring the strong performance during the first quarter of 2016. Although the combination of changes in stamp duty and the upcoming EU referendum could create uncertainty for the economy, there is little sign of this impacting on the Northern Ireland housing market at the moment.

However, the outlook isn’t as good for Saint Andrew and Saint David as the property markets in Scotland and Wales have seen a huge drop in property price from 2015 to 2016. Scotland is still slightly ahead, with the average property price at £168,683, compared to Wales (£165,077), helping the nation to the north, land the first blow.

But despite the stronger average house price Scotland has seen the sharpest decrease in property value over the last year, down -6%. Although there has been plans for major developments within Scotland, from developers in Europe, there are increasing reports of significant projects being placed on hold as major investors appear to be nervous about the impending vote. Although Wales has also seen a drop, at 1%, this falls well below Scotland’s drastic decrease and levels the property value playing field. More of a battle for the wooden spoon rather than a crusade for the top spot.

Although together we stand as one British nation, it’s interesting to see how the property markets across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland differ. With London the jewel in Britain’s property crown, England is always going to come out on top, but each country has its property pros and cons.

It’s also interesting how uncertainty in the current market, with the recent changes to stamp duty and the approaching EU referendum, seem to have impacted each market differently.

Northern Ireland has enjoyed a stronger rate of growth than England, but Scotland seems to be suffering along with Wales, although the Welsh haven’t seen a drop in values to the same extent as the Scottish.

Russell Quirk

Founder & CEO,