Housing Market Newcastle News August 2021

With Newcastle being voted as one of the most affordable places to live in the UK and lots of new housing developments announced for the city – will supply and demand further impact house prices? Housing is never far from the news in Newcastle – Smartmove has compiled the best stories published in August.

Plans emerge for 1,600 more homes and new school in the next phase of massive Callerton development

The ‘Upper Callerton’ site would be the next phase in a building master plan that will result in the creation of around 3,000 houses in the northwest of Newcastle by 2030 reports Daniel Holland for the ChronicleLive.

Plans are in the works to press ahead with building a further 1,600 new homes in a huge development on the outskirts of Newcastle.

Developers are readying proposals for the next phase of construction in the massive Callerton masterplan, a controversial project for which huge swathes of land was removed from the city’s green belt.

Hundreds of new homes have already been approved for the gigantic project in the northwest of the city, which covers three separate sites and will result in the creation of around 3,000 houses by 2030.

New documents lodged with Newcastle City Council reveal that housebuilders are now preparing an application for up to 1,600 homes on the undeveloped ‘Upper Callerton’ site.

The plans would represent an increase of 400 dwellings compared to the original 1,200 expected on the land, and would also include a primary school and nursery, allotments, play areas, and potentially a GP surgery.

The development would cover around 97 hectares of land bordering the A696 to the north and east, Hareydene housing estate, Whorlton Grange golf course to the south and farmland to the west.

A consortium of developers that own sections of the land is behind the plans, including Northumberland Estates, Taylor Wimpey, and Persimmons Homes.

Submissions to the council from planning agents Lichfields state that the new housing would be mostly two storeys tall, with a number of three-storey townhouses “likely to be included” and “possibly some four-storey apartment blocks in appropriate locations”.

The master plan for the massive Callerton development was adopted by the city council in 2016, despite being branded a “disaster” by green campaigners.

Callerton was removed from the green belt in 2015 in order to help meet the demand for new housing developments in Newcastle.

Plans for 1,150 homes on the Middle Callerton parcel of land and 900 at Lower Callerton have previously been approved.

The consortium of developers has now requested a ‘scoping opinion’ from the city council regarding the environmental impact of the huge development at Upper Callerton, ahead of a full planning application being lodged.

Planning Granted For Next Phase Of Newcastle Regeneration Project

Planning permission has been granted for a further phase at The Rise in Scotswood, allowing the pace of homebuilding to increase with at least 200 new homes to be constructed over the next two years reports businessupnorth.co.uk

This approval follows the successful delivery of 382 new homes in the first phase of this exciting development by New Tyne West Development Company (NTWDC)

The uplift in construction is being supported by a £2.9 million grant from the North of Tyne Combined Authority, earmarked specifically to stimulate housing initiatives on brownfield sites.

Alongside this, local community and charity groups will continue to benefit from up to £75,000 each year from a fund set up to support educational, art and environmental initiatives, including celebrating the area’s history.

Access to employment, schools and non-development apprenticeships projects will also be backed, whilst on-site, around 80% of the £120 million investment is forecast to be spent with local suppliers and contractors, supporting further training opportunities, apprenticeships and job creation.

The increase in the building comes after Keepmoat Homes bought out Barratt Homes’ interest in NTWDC – the joint venture behind the award-winning development.

Established by Newcastle City Council and the two developers back in 2011, NTWDC has, since the building began in 2013, completed almost 400 homes – 332 for private sale and the remainder for affordable rent and shared ownership.

Director, Lee McGray, said: “Following several months of change, the planning consent completes the process of expanding development activity at The Rise. The pace of construction will help meet the increased demand for new homes, as we see the area grow from strength to strength.

Cabinet member for Development, Neighbourhoods and Transport with Newcastle City Council, Cllr Ged Bell, added: “It’s fantastic news that another 200 homes are coming to Scotswood. Already many young people and families have purchased a home on The Rise, raising the profile of the development.

“As a growing city, we urgently need new homes to keep pace with demand, and I must say it’s great looking across the river and seeing the homes taking shape.

“Of course, jobs are very important too as these are the building blocks of a strong economy, so I welcome the apprenticeships and the focus on procuring local suppliers, keeping the money right here in the local economy. This reduces the need to bring in supplies from further afield and along with the on-site heat plant that supplies energy to the homes will help reduce carbon emissions.”

Deputy Mayor of the North of Tyne Combined Authority and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Land, Norma Redfearn CBE, said: “As a combined authority with a mayor, we have secured additional money to open these sites up. We’ve worked hard, with our partners in the local authorities, to identify where best the money should be spent, to target where it will most benefit local communities.

“It puts us on the road to our ambition to build more affordable housing, breathe new life into disused sites and to make the North of Tyne a fantastic place to live, work and invest. Our commitment to community initiatives, local businesses, local schools, training and jobs remains strong and we look forward to playing an even greater part in the revival of the city’s west end.”

When completed, The Rise will comprise around 1,800 homes with its own district heating system – already in place – and a neighbourhood centre, including community, retail and health provision space.

Keepmoat Homes have, in recent years, been one of the busiest private developers in Newcastle, delivering almost 800 homes across eight sites in the city since 2016.

Along with ventures in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Sheffield and Northfleet on the River Thames, The Rise is now one of the company’s key flagship projects.

Administrators called in at Newcastle contractor Kapex Construction

The Gosforth company was involved in a number of schemes including the Regents Plaza apartments development.

Administrators have been appointed at a Newcastle construction company which is involved in a number of high profile schemes in the city, reports Coreena Ford for ChronicleLive.

Kapex Construction Limited, based in Gosforth, has appointed Steven Ross and Allan Kelly of FRP Advisory as joint administrators.

The administrators were officially appointed today, August 24, in London Gazette filings at the High Court of Justice, Business and Property Courts in Newcastle upon Tyne show.

The company is the contracting arm of The Morton Group, which specialises in land acquisition, property development and construction.

The group as a whole specialises in sourcing land and existing development sites across the UK for residential and commercial opportunities, which would then be built out by the Kapex Construction team.

Kapex itself was launched in 2016, to work on housing schemes across the region, with the most recent accounts showing it employed 62 people last year.

The team at Kapex had been working on a number of schemes in the region, including Sycamore Square, a development of 37 homes on the site of the former Sanderson Hospital site at Gosforth. It was also working on the conversion of the former Regent Centre’s Eagle Star House office into Regents Plaza, a £15m 12-storey apartment scheme set to deliver 70 apartments.

Other projects it was carrying out included Eldon House at Gosforth’s Regent Centre, which is undergoing a £5.4m transformation to redevelop the former vacant office building into 66 luxury apartments.

Kapex had also been contracted to build a £7.5m development of 47 new homes for Northumberland Estates on the site of a former kiln pit at Beadnell.

The company was recognised in the North East RICS Social Impact Awards in the heritage category for its work on All Saints, England’s only elliptical church, an 18th Century Grade I listed building that had not been used as a place of worship for over 40 years and was on Historic England’s Heritage At Risk Register.

It posted a turnover of £11.7m in its most recent accounts for the year to 31 March 2020, a marked jump on the £3.16m reported the previous year.

Last September it said it had a confirmed order book of £40m and had launched new divisions, Kapex Solutions and Kapex Civils, saying £1m was being invested into civil engineering plant and machinery.

ChronicleLive has tried to contact Kapex and FRP Advisory for comment.

Registered provider rejoins ALMO it left 10 years ago

A Newcastle-based registered provider that is focusing on providing supported housing has officially rejoined the city council’s ALMO as a subsidiary, nearly a decade after it first became independent, reports James Wilmore of Inside Housing.

Leazes Homes, which operates 766 homes, was formed as part of ALMO Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) in 2009 before breaking away as an independent charity in 2012.

However, all Leazes Homes’ properties continued to be managed by YHN. The ALMO currently manages around 26,000 properties for Newcastle City Council.

The decision for Leazes to rejoin YNH came after a year of due diligence.

Tony Gates, chair of YHN, said: “Specialist housing is a potential growth area for YHN and we’re thrilled to have the expertise of the Leazes Homes’ board taking on strategic oversight of this for us.”

Dawn Keightley, chair of Leazes Homes, added: “Leazes Homes’ board has had clear ambitions around developing exemplar accommodation solutions in the supported housing market for some time, but was also aware that Leazes Homes’ existing operating model would not be able to gear up to deliver against those ambitions and other solutions needed to be considered to bring in the capacity, knowledge and resources required.”

In its last reported full-year to the end of March 2020, Leazes posted an 84% drop in surplus to £41,000 on a flat turnover of £6.3m. It delivered one new unit of social housing in the year.

In its accounts filed at Companies House, Leazes said it had decided to “focus its resources on providing supported housing”.

Leazes Homes will maintain its own identity and retain its assets, YHN said. An intra-group agreement is being established that will include protections to secure Leazes Homes’ assets.

Leazes’ board will be responsible for the “strategic and operational oversight” of the supported housing and services for both partners, YHN added.

Elsewhere in the region, Thirteen, one of the North East’s largest housing associations, last month acquired more than 1,000 homes from Clarion as part of the G15 landlord’s stock rationalisation programme.

Fresh plans to tear down Gosforth synagogue and build a new apartment block in its place

The latest vision for the Graham Park Road site comes after previous proposals for 28 retirement apartments were dropped, reports Daniel Holland for the ChronicleLive.

New plans have emerged to tear down a Gosforth synagogue and replace it with flats.

Developers have launched a bid to demolish the United Hebrew Congregation (UHC) synagogue and build a new apartment block in its place.

The latest plans for the Graham Park Road site come after Newcastle UHC agreed to sell the majority of its land there in 2017 due to its dwindling congregation size.

A previous scheme was due to see 28 retirement flats built on the site, but housebuilder McCarthy and Stone dropped those plans due to a lack of public support.

Now Newcastle-based LOK Developments is instead proposing a three and a half storey block be built on the site of the synagogue, comprising 17 apartments.

A planning application lodged with Newcastle City Council states that the synagogue, built in 1986, is “of low significance and contributes little” to the Gosforth Conservation Area, adding that trying to convert it into housing rather than demolish it would be a “costly and complex process”.

The synagogue was built to hold congregations of around 300 but was only attracting around 50 worshippers when the deal to sell the land was struck in 2017.

The redevelopment plans would see the UHC move into the adjacent Lionel Jacobson House, while a 19th-century lodge house on the site would also be turned into a standalone two-bed home.

Developers say that a “sustainable, contemporary design” for the proposed new flats would “add more to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area than the retained and converted synagogue”.

The planning application states: “The applicant, Newcastle-based LOK Developments 07 Ltd, sees the opportunity for a high-quality residential apartment scheme on the site, responding to the reported demand for that type and status of accommodation in this part of Gosforth.

“Redevelopment of the site will enable UHC to proceed with their plans for Lionel Jacobson House, ensuring the continuation of the congregation at Graham Park Road.

“The proposals also present an opportunity for LOK to further showcase their ambitions in the residential marketplace and on sustainability.

“This opportunity follows the comprehensive transformation of Eagle Star House at Regent Centre, and development of the former Sanderson Hospital site on Salters Road, both within the same neighbourhood.”

Newcastle, Durham and Sunderland in UK’s top 20 most affordable places to live

There has been a 10.3% surge in city house prices across the UK, but you can still grab a deal in parts of the North East, reports Kieran Murray and Vicky Shaw for ChronicleLive.

The most and least affordable UK cities to buy a home have been revealed, with the North East housing, some of the bargain buys.

All three of the region’s cities feature in the list of the top 20 affordable places to live in the country, according to a report by Halifax.

Sunderland features 11th on the list with an average house price of £179,567, while average earnings are £29,745.

In Durham, a house will set you back £196,274 on average, while average annual earnings are £31,762.

Newcastle takes 18th position with properties costing an average of £229,434, with residents taking home earnings of £36,212.

According to the new analysis, a 10.3% surge in city house prices in one year means property now costs a staggering 8.1 times average earnings.

The Halifax study has also revealed the average city house price had increased to £287,440.

Meanwhile, average earnings in those locations had only increased by 2.1% annually, to £35,677.

The affordability of city living is worse than in 2020 when house prices in cities typically had cost around seven-and-a-half times wages, reports The Mirror.

After staying at 5.6 from 2011 to 2013, the house price-to-earnings ratio in UK cities has since increased every year for the last eight years.

But cities still tend to be marginally more affordable than the UK as a whole, which has a house price-to-earnings ratio of 8.5.

This is explained by wages in cities is usually higher than in rural areas, and during the pandemic many city dwellers have relocated to the countryside, helping to push up house prices there.

Londonderry has held its position as the UK’s most affordable city for the third year in a row, with a price-to-earnings ratio of 4.7.

Winchester was identified as the UK’s least affordable city, replacing previous table-topper Oxford, with homes now 14 times annual earnings for those living and working there.

London was outside the top five least affordable cities for the first time in six years.

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said: “Affordability is significantly better in the north and there are now just two cities – Plymouth and Portsmouth – with better than average affordability in the south.”

Housing affordability improved in seven cities compared with a year earlier: Durham, Oxford, Carlisle, Portsmouth, Salford, Inverness and Glasgow.

Carlisle and Aberdeen are now more affordable than five years ago, with their house price-to-earnings ratios easing.

Inverness is the only city found to be more affordable than 10 years ago. An average home there costs 5.6 times average earnings, down from 6.2 in 2011, due to wage growth there outstripping house price growth.

1. Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 4.7, £155,917, £33,138
=2. Carlisle, North, 4.8, £163,232, £34,087
=2. Bradford, Yorkshire and the Humber, 4.8, £164,410, £34,219
=4. Stirling, Scotland, 5.4, £208,927, £38,744
=4. Aberdeen, Scotland, 5.4, £205,199, £38,016
=4. Glasgow, Scotland, 5.4, £196,625, £36,205
7. Perth, Scotland, 5.5, £203,229, £36,700
=8. Inverness, Scotland, 5.6, £191,840, £34,373
=8. Hull, Yorkshire and the Humber, 5.6, £156,424, £27,730
10. Dundee, Scotland, 5.8, £181,150, £31,344
11. Sunderland, North, 6.0, £179,567, £29,745
12. Lisburn, Northern Ireland, 6.1, £203,386, £33,138
=13. Salford, North West, 6.2, £211,903, £34,444
=13. Durham, North, 6.2, £196,274, £31,762
=13. Liverpool, North West, 6.2, £215,741, £34,911
=13. Belfast, Northern Ireland, 6.2, £205,228, £33,138
=13. Lancaster, North West, 6.2, £217,392, £35,004
18. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North, 6.3, £229,434, £36,212
19. Stoke-on-Trent, West Midlands, 6.5, £200,161, £30,698
20. Hereford, West Midlands, 6.6, £316,929, £48,048

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