How affordable are homes in Altrincham?
How affordable are homes in Altrincham?
We think now is a good time to take a closer look at how affordable homes are in Altrincham. Especially with mortgage rates rising and rents at the highest levels they have ever been. Many are feeling the squeeze with the cost of living. It’s beneficial to understand how house prices in Altrincham compare to other areas and how rentals fare at this time. Find out more…
Altrincham property prices remain higher than North West and National averages
Despite news of a slight drop in property prices in recent months, this has not been the case in Altrincham. For those who have lived in the Altrincham area long enough, it comes as no surprise that prices of property in Altrincham are as high as they are. The region remains popular thanks to its great schools, vibrant town, and proximity to good transport links. These all lead to an increase in property prices. It’s hard for younger buyers especially, who are priced out of buying a first home in the area. Even renting a flat or a house in Altrincham is a struggle for young working professionals. But we’ll cover more on this later.
The chart below gives a snapshot of average property values for Altrincham in the last twelve months (from May 2022 to April 2023), compared with the North West and England & Wales.
It’s clear to see, no matter the type of property, whether it’s detached, semi-detached, terraced, or a flat or apartment; Altrincham’s prices top the list.
How have house prices changed?
Below you can see another chart which shows the change in average sale prices for all properties. This includes flats and houses, over different periods of time. This is based on price per square foot of the properties.
In the past year alone, properties of all kinds have increased by a significant amount; houses seeing the greatest rise. Flats are seeing a much slower rate of growth – it could be that prices are peaking in this property category.
We can take a look at how Altrincham’s price growth compares with both the North West and England & Wales, below here.
Interestingly, while prices have increased over the last twelve months, the percentage of transactions have dropped. We always expected this, especially with the general cost of living strain for many. Not only are people struggling with inflation and increased energy costs. Interest rate increases have led to there being fewer low rate mortgage options available compared to previous years.
Why Altrincham’s prices will always remain at a premium in this way is down primarily to supply versus demand. People want to live in Altrincham but there aren’t enough properties, and affordable ones at that, to satisfy need.
How many bedrooms your property has makes a difference in Altrincham
Yes, the more rooms that a property in Altrincham has, the more you will need to pay. And since the last time we reported on these figures, there have been some significant changes in the average prices.
Back in June 2021 to May 2022, the price for a studio flat in Altrincham was £185,363 and a one-bed flat: £175,273. In the figures from May 2022 to April 2023, the price of both studio flats and one-bedroom flats have fallen. These now stand at an average of £128,316 for a studio flat and £159,492 for a one-bed flat. Two-bed flats have tipped the £200k mark, coming in at an average of £220,727 – far higher than the North West average. Are families turning to apartments as they can’t afford houses in Altrincham?
For houses, when we looked at the figures from June 2021 to May 2022, those with 3 or more bedrooms in Altrincham had an average price of £472,081. Now, looking at the values over the 12 months from May 2022 to April 2023, the average price of a house with more than 3 bedrooms has tipped the £500k mark to £529,209. And for the same period, the average price of a two-bedroom property in Altrincham is £323,801.
Who’s renting homes in Altrincham?
Over the last twelve months, the average rents for homes in Altrincham was £1,180 per month. This is a change of 11% on the previous twelve month period.
But who is renting homes in Altrincham? Looking at the age profile of those renting, the chart below can help make some sense of what is happening. See on the left, data for the average age profile of tenants in the North West over the last twelve months. You can compare this with the chart on the right, which shows the average age profile for tenants in Altrincham. You can see straight away there are a few stark differences across some of the age groups.
Fewer young people renting homes in Altrincham
The squeeze on renting in Altrincham over the last twelve months (May 2022 to April 2023) is most apparent in the younger age categories. Usually, we would expect the greatest proportion of people renting property to be the 18-29 age category. These would be your college leavers, young professionals, or young couples who are starting their independent lives. However here in Altrincham, the lowest age groups are massively under represented. 2.9% of renters in Altrincham over the last twelve months were age 18-21, 7% were aged 22-24 years, and 14.6% aged 25-29 years. When you compare this to the age profile of renters in the North West, far fewer younger people are renting in Altrincham. You can draw a parallel between rental affordability in Altrincham, causing many 18-29 year olds to either stay at home, or rent or buy elsewhere.
More 30-49 year olds are renting in Altrincham than any other age group
We know, especially in Altrincham, that older age groups tend to rent for longer than they used to. Although we would expect these age groups to rank lower than those aged 18-29. We often see 30-40 year olds renting. This could be to save for a deposit to buy either a first family home, or to step up to a larger home.
The figures for Altrincham show the 40-49 age group makes up the highest proportion of tenants at 25.8%. The North West average is low for this age group at 12.1% suggesting many in this region have gone on to buy a home.
And if you combine the totals for the 30-34 and 35-39 age groups in Altrincham, they total 29.9%. Alongside the 40-49 age group, this makes up over half of the total people renting in Altrincham in the last twelve months. Does this mean people are renting for even longer to afford a home in the area? Or does it mean, if you want to live in Altrincham, it’s cheaper to rent than buy?
Data from the 2021 Census
Data has started to come through from the 2021 census. So,we can get a better understanding of who lives in Altrincham; the breakdown of ages, family types, and more.
Take for example the age profile of people living in Altrincham at the time of the 2021 census, shown below.
It’s interesting that Under 15 ranks as the highest age category, suggesting lots of families with younger children residing here. We have some of the best schools in the area after all, so that makes sense.
Second to that age group, the 65+ group ranked at 18.6%. It is likely this represents a group who have always lived in Altrincham and are settled in a property which they bought many years before. We also have good retirement living options here in Altrincham, which may make a difference to this category.
It’s clear the younger adult age groups (15-24 and 25-34) are the two lowest ranking and are much lower than the North West average. Then, there is a reversal of rankings between the North West and Altrincham averages when we get to the 35-44 and 45-54 age groups. It is at these ages in life where more people tend to have families and seek good local schools. It’s also the time of life where career-wise, people find they can afford to live in areas like Altrincham.
How people travel to work is significantly different in Altrincham
We found these statistics from the 2021 census interesting, with regards how people travel to work. The percentage of people working from home in Altrincham was nearly half at 44.7%, compared to 27.4% in the North West. Of course, with Covid restrictions lifted, these figures are likely to be different today. However, at the time, we were seeing high demand for homes in Altrincham which offered extra space or potential for home working solutions. There was a clear shift in homebuyer needs, and we continue to see this to some degree. So, it is interesting to see that reflected in the census data.
It’s also interesting to see that despite Altrincham having the Metrolink, 43.2% of people were taking the car to work. It might be that public transport services weren’t running to full schedule at the time of the census. Or perhaps people found the services unreliable.
With only 5.4% of people walking to work, it might be fair to say that those who live in Altrincham don’t necessarily work in the town. But they choose to reside here because it is a truly desirable place to live. Whether renting or buying, Altrincham remains popular. The high-quality schools, beautiful green spaces, and social aspects the town centre offers with its many great bars and restaurants.
Strong demand for properties in Altrincham is one of the reasons why prices remain high in the area. If you are looking to sell your home, or you are considering letting out your property, contact us to discuss your options. Our professional team provide an unparalleled service which you can only expect from a local, independent estate agent such as us.