Harrogate District Local Plan

Every Council in the Country has to produce a local plan for the Government. The Government has been putting emphasis on creating more housing and Harrogate has a quota which it has to fill to have the plan passed.

This Plan is currently up for review and all residents are invited to have their say. Various exhibitions of the plan are in the course of being run and a full list of these can be seen at https://www.harrogate.gov.uk/info/20101/planning_policy_and_the_local_plan/550/harrogate_district_local_plan_emerging

I would advise everyone to go and look at these plans so that you can see for yourself what is on the agenda. You then have the right to submit any observations to the plan by registering on http://consult.harrogate.gov.uk/portal Once you have registered you can then see who has said what.

I appreciate that the government is pushing for large increases in homes for the Harrogate District but I would have thought that this needs to be done in consultation with North Yorkshire County Council Roads department and anyone trying to get up Skipton Road on a morning or evening rush hour will know exactly what I mean.

As an Estate Agent you would have thought I would be all for more homes and there is a definite shortage of homes in the Harrogate area but I do have a couple of reservations. The transport situation as above and the lack of homes for first time buyers.

There is a need for 5,383 affordable homes to be built in Harrogate District over the next 19 years. Currently there is only about half the national average of affordable homes in Harrogate which is why there is such a demand for these properties. However, on past evidence I don’t see much in the way of these homes being built on the new sites currently being developed.

I would also suggest that affordable is not a definitive number and what is affordable to one isn’t affordable to another. I see that these affordable homes will be capped at £250,000 As an Estate Agent in the Harrogate area I know only too well that many younger people are struggling with the high cost of housing in our area and unless this is addressed many of those younger adults will leave the area perhaps finding jobs elsewhere resulting in a loss of revenue in our community. Therefore is a cap of £250,000 too high for those looking for affordable housing and if it is, then the rule for 40% affordable housing on each site isn’t the answer?

EweMove The Most Trusted Estate Agent in Harrogate Ripon & Boroughbridge

Hybrid Estate Agent, EweMove Sales and Lettings are the Most Trusted Estate Agent based on hundreds of customer reviews left from happy customers on the independent review website Trustpilot.com.

TV personality and EweMove brand ambassador Carol Smillie presented local EweMove branch director, Tom Lawrence with this award to celebrate the fantastic achievement.


EweMove Sales & Lettings made the decision to partner with Smillie, renowned for her role with the BBC’s Changing Rooms series, as part of their strategic growth plans.

Tom commented “To be presented this award by Carol is a real honour. We pride ourselves on working hard to deliver the best service for our customers but it’s great to receive this recognition”.

“Our customers are our number one priority, we work outside of traditional estate agency hours and go over and above to deliver a 5 star service, achieving the best sale price, quickest sale time or finding the best tenant for our landlords”.

Since launching EweMove in October 2014, Tom has gone from strength to strength helping local buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants with their property needs, selling over £10 million pounds’ worth of homes since his launch. To cope with the high demand for his services he is pleased to have taken on a new member of staff, Callum Lawrence.


Multi-award winning EweMove pride themselves on their range of unique customer service propositions, with a motto of “we’ll never fleece ewe” customers are not required to pay upfront fees or sneaky hidden charges along with a ‘No Sale – No fee’ promise which forms their ‘Happy Sale Guarantee’. For vendors this means that they are not tied into long contracts and can walk away at any time without being charged a penny!

EweMove also offer unique happiness guarantees for landlords and buyers too which give confidence and peace of mind.

To read the latest customer reviews for EweMove visit www.Trustpilot.com or for more information about how Tom can help you sell your home contact EweMove Harrogate to book a free, no obligation property appraisal.

Visit: www.ewemove.com/harrogate

Or Call (24/7) 01423 606506

More About EweMove Sales & Lettings

EweMove launched the first ‘Hybrid’ Sales and Lettings Estate Agency in 2014.

Their ‘hub and spoke’ model is based around having a central operations centre (the Sheep Pen) with local field-based franchisees operating from branches throughout the UK.

The key difference between EweMove and most online or ‘hybrid’ agents is that EweMove provides a high-end personal service and sells on a ‘no sale, no fee’ basis. That contrasts with many low cost online agents, who charge upfront fees irrespective of whether the house sells.

The hundreds of 5-star customer reviews on the independent consumer website Trustpilot are testament to this.

EweMove is ranked No. 1 based upon customer reviews in the following categories:

EweMove has won numerous Times/Sunday Times Estate and Letting Agency Awards for:

  • Innovation
  • Best Newcomer Estate Agency
  • Best Estate Agency Franchise
  • Best Estate Agency to Work For

Carol Smillie, previously the presenter of BBC’s ‘Changing Rooms’ is the Brand Ambassador and features prominently within EweMove’s marketing.

EweMove has published a book to help homeowners move called ‘The 39 Steps to Avoid a House Sale Nightmare’.

It retails at £9.95 and can be purchased on Amazon. ISBN-13 978-0993225406

Since 2014, EweMove has launched in excess of 90 branches, operating in England, Wales and Scotland.

Rightmove data on sales lettings and local prices

Housing market steady post referendum

  • Price of property coming to market falls 0.9% (-£2,647) this month, within usual expectations for the run-up to the summer holiday season
  • Buyer demand in the two weeks since the surprise referendum result is consistent with 2014 although down on 2015:
    • Same period in 2015 benefitted substantially from post-election boost so enquiries this year are down 16% compared to that period
    • 2014 was not distorted by the election so is a better basis for comparison, and buyer enquiries are at the same level as the like-for-like two weeks in 2014
  • Most agents report market momentum continuing due to shortage of suitable property for sale, buyers fearful of missing out on scarce choice, and affordability and availability of low mortgage rates
  • Sellers seem undeterred – compared to the same period last year, the two weeks pre-referendum saw the number of new properties coming to market down by 8%, and the two weeks post-referendum saw them up by 6%

Buy-to-let rush boosts rental supply with biggest increase in London

  • The rental market received a boost of 8% more new properties advertised to rent in Q2 compared to the same quarter in 2015, following the Q1 rush to buy property to let out before the stamp duty charges came in
  • Majority of new properties were in London, up by 22% on the same period last year, resulting in a small drop in the region’s average asking price this quarter to just under £2,000 per month
  • Despite the increase in supply, all other regions recorded a rise in average asking rents this quarter, with the East of England’s 5% annual change leading the way
  • Rental enquiries up 2% in Q2 2016 compared to last year, and up 1% in the two weeks after the referendum compared to same two weeks in 2015, as the lettings market shows no immediate signs of Brexit impact.


Yorkshire and Humber prices

House price boost in regional cities, Brexit impact uncertain

May 2016 – House price boost in regional cities, with Brexit impact uncertain

  • The recent surge of investor buyers has boosted house price growth in regional cities. Liverpool has seen the highest growth in the last quarter and Bristol has the fastest annual growth rate.
  • The referendum result will impact turnover far more than house prices in near term although we expect a rapid deceleration of house price growth across all cities in 2016H2.
  • The city level impact is hard to gauge but we expect the immediate impact to be felt in London where affordability levels are stretched and the market was already facing headwinds.

A pattern of stronger growth in regional cities is emerging with highest growth rates in the last quarter coming from Liverpool (5.4%), Bristol (4.2%), Manchester (3.9%) and Leeds (3.7%). The question now is how the referendum result will impact the near to medium outlook.

City house price growth running in double digits
The rate of city level house price inflation continued to increase in May building on a strong first quarter and the surge of investor demand ahead of the stamp duty deadline. Year on year growth is running at 11.2% compared to 6.2% twelve months ago.

Table 1- UK 20 city index summary, May 2016


Source: Hometrack House Price Indices


City level house price inflation ranges from 14.1% in Bristol to 3.2% in Belfast and -9.6% in Aberdeen, where the downturn in the oil price is impacting on the economy and demand for housing. Bristol is now the fastest growing city – the first time a city outside the south east of England has grown faster than London since January 2010.

A pattern of stronger growth in regional cities is emerging with highest growth rates in the last quarter coming from Liverpool (5.4%), Bristol (4.2%), Manchester (3.9%) and Leeds (3.7%). The question now is how the referendum result will impact the near to medium outlook.


City level summary
Source: Hometrack House Price Indices

Referendum impact – transactions
The immediate and short term impact of the EU referendum result will be widespread uncertainty amongst buyers and sellers across the housing market. This is against a backdrop of already subdued turnover – while sales volumes have recovered from their 2009 lows, sales as a percentage of stock remain low by historic standards at around 5%, or a move every 20 years.

Last month’s report analysed how external shocks have impacted housing turnover over the last 20 years. Shocks that impact the UK economy through lower spending and incomes growth have had the greatest impact on turnover. Aside from the 2008/9 downturn, when sales fell almost 50% off a high base, the previous economically driven fall in sales was in 2005 when volumes contracted 15% (fig.3). There was also a small contraction in turnover in 2015 and further sizable decline in housing market turnover now seems inevitable over 2016H2 on widespread uncertainty.


Source: Hometrack Indices

Referendum impact – house price growth
This drop in turnover is set to be accompanied by a rapid deceleration in house price growth as buyers adopt a wait and see approach to assess the short term impact on financial markets, the economy at large and the outlook for personal finances. At present we do not expect house price falls, the greatest impact will be on market activity.
House price falls would require forced sellers, driven by higher mortgage rates and/or rising unemployment. While short-term turmoil in financial markets will impact market sentiment, it is too early to say how the vote to leave will impact the real economy. Tighter lending criteria implemented in recent years will help to mitigate the impact on the more recent entrants to the market.


Source: Hometrack House Price Indices

Fig. 3 – Long run change in city level sales volumes


Source: Hometrack House Price Indices

In addition, levels of new housing are likely to be scaled back helping to tighten supply and support prices. Builders had already been slowing starts ahead of the vote and on concerns over the Starter Homes initiative. This cautionary approach is unlikely to change until the outlook for demand improves.

The impact of the result on the outlook for individual UK cities is hard to gauge. Different cities are at different points in the housing cycle as shown in figure 4 which plots prices today relative to the 2007 peak against year on year growth. The size of the bubble reflects the average price of a home.

The relative position of each city reflects the strength of the local economy and the scale of demand for housing. All cities started in the bottom left in 2009 and have tracked to the top right of the chart. It shows that large regional cities outside southern England are still in the early to middle stages of recovery compared to the high growth cities of southern England.

The localised impacts on demand for housing are likely to be driven by the outlook for the local economy and jobs, as seen in Aberdeen over the last year with prices down 10% on a weaker oil price.

tom_06Source: Hometrack

The view for London
This analysis supports our view that the decision to leave the EU will be most keenly felt in the London housing market which is already facing headwinds. House price growth in the capital varies between double digit growth in lower value areas and weaker, low single digit growth in central London areas. Modest single digit price falls now appear likely in higher value markets as prices adjust in the face of lower sales activity and weaker investor demand. These markets have seen some of the highest growth in the last 5 years of up to 90% so a modest correction can be accommodated. Even a sharp, prolonged fall in the Sterling is unlikely to attract overseas buyers in the near term. Across the whole London market, where house price growth is running at 13%, we expect the rate of growth to slow rapidly in the short term on uncertainty and affordability factors.

Housing market fundamentals remain strong
Standing back from the immediate turmoil in financial markets, the reality is that the fundamentals of the housing market remain unchanged with record low mortgage rates and a wide imbalance between supply and demand. The UK doesn’t have a problem with housing demand, the more important question is how many buyers and sellers feel confident to participate in the market in the near term.

The sooner a clear picture emerges over the likely impact on the economy and the outlook for jobs and mortgage rates the sooner transaction volumes should stabilise and more buyers return to the market. Sentiment can turn fast and many businesses will hope the uncertainty does not linger and households start to put the result behind them and return towards business as usual.

Find out what Carol Smillie learned from EweMove

After Carol Smillie read our reviews and then spoke to lots of our customers to see why we’ve been rated the UK’s Most Trusted Estate Agent, she interviewed Glenn Ackroyd, one of the Co-Founders.
This short video tells you exactly why EweMove are so different to other estate agents and why our business has enjoyed rapid growth on the back of customer recommendations.
Now of course, you can sell with a traditional ‘old school’ agent – and there are some really good ones out there, but in the main they have a bad reputation.
And the best part of my service is that it’s risk free. If you’re not happy at any time, you can leave and it won’t cost you a penny…
Enough of the sales pitch. I’m beginning to sound like an old school estate agent!
If you’re thinking of selling, I’d expect you to ask a couple of agents around, but I’d be delighted if you would give me a chance as well to explain why we’re different and our customers love us.
Would you be happy to do that?

Energy Performance Certificate

I shouldn’t need to write this, but I’ve seen too many people being ripped off – so I wanted to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

When you sell your house, you must have an EPC – short for “Energy Performance Certificate”. It’s a rating of energy efficiency on a range of A-G.

Anyway, since 2007, you can’t list your home for sale or let without one and estate agents will help you get them.

What you probably don’t realise is that estate agents can get these ‘wholesale’ and charge a tidy mark up… But worse, some agents tell you to get them, even though you don’t need a new one!

That’s because they are valid for 10 years. So if you’ve bought during that period, you can use your existing certificate.

To see there is one on your house and download it now (for free!), click the link below and enter your postcode. You can also check your neighbours to see how your house compares!

Click Here for EPC Register

Remember, I’m here to help, so if you’ve got any questions you can call me or email me

Questions for buyers

Listen to my Stray FM interview and hear tips on questions to ask when buying a home.