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The biggest freehold property hotspots to avoid a leasehold nightmare revealed

With the latest data from the 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 5-10 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, commented:

“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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