A large number of companies have moved to or set up regional offices in the North of England in recent years, fuelling a high demand for residential accommodation in the region by employees moving north.
The government’s Northern Powerhouse Initiative is designed to boost productivity in northern businesses. The optimism in the North has positively affected the housing market. Houses are competitively priced and, according to Toni Smith of First Complete, 38% of new mortgages in the North West in 2016 were for first-time homebuyers.
There is a high demand for rented homes in the North of England which has also attracted buy-to-let landlords to the region. There is a large demand for commercial mortgages and many landlords are reporting rental yields of around 5.1% on their investment property portfolios.
People living in the North are also careful about protecting their mortgage payment. Toni Smith says that mortgage protection insurance sales have risen by 27% in the North West and 22% in the North East in 2016. Mortgage protection combined with critical illness cover accounts for 70% of insurance protection sales.
Northerners are benefiting from the reduction in mortgage interest rates. Remortgaging activity increased by 10% in the first half of 2016 as people switched to cheaper rate mortgages. The average remortgage value is £138,000, an increase from £121,000 in the previous year.
With the government supporting the Northern business community, providers of mortgage and protection insurance make a vital contribution to the success of the Northern Powerhouse.