Housing Market Newcastle News March 2021

The housing market in Newcastle and the North East is never far from the news. Smartmove, Newcastle’s best removal company, compiles the best of the news in March 2021.

North East housing ‘lagging behind’ on net-zero targets

The North of Tyne Combined Authority was told that housing in the North East, including Northumberland and Newcastle, contributed to 34% of the emissions in the combined authority area. This is in stark contrast to the national average of 20% reports Austen Shakespeare in the Northumberland Gazette.

Callum Smith, a housing advisor for the authority, explained that among other contributing factors, the age of houses across the North East makes them colder and less heat efficient.

Over 50% of properties across the area were built before 1965 and significant pockets of properties before 1919.

70% of homes in the North East have an Energy Performance Certificate rating of D, a band lower than band C, which indicates “a good benchmark of good practice.”

Newcastle University’s Professor of Environment and Planning, Simin Davoudi claimed that there are several other issues that contribute to the region’s poor performance.

Private landlords are reluctant to invest in energy efficiency measures on their rental properties as any potential financial savings will benefit tenants not landlords.

Professor Davoudi also stated that energy efficiency measures are not being implemented by homeowners because of issues like “affordability, limited advice, lack of trust in the retrofitting companies and disruption to their daily lives”.

There continue to be problems with new-builds too. According to Professor Davoudi although “there are standards in place already…they are not adequate in achieving low carbon housing. ”

Davoudi also states that companies responsible for new build projects do not “always comply” with the regulations and “they are sometimes being interpreted differently by different local authorities.”

She states that authorities and building regulators need “adequate resources which obviously are now hard to come by giving the massive cuts to their budget. ”

In addition, the fact that house prices in the north are lower than the south means that local authorities have little bargaining power over developers to make them comply with energy efficiency standards. Professor Davoudi claimed that if local authorities did exert pressure “developers would complain about the buyability of their development.”

Davoudi explained that in the long term “as long as we are dependent on private developers to build new homes we will find it very difficult to deliver houses that are fit for the future.”

The 22 North East houses which sold for over one million pounds in 2020

These are the 22 properties that sold for £1m or more in the North East in 2020 reports Chronicle Live

They were located all over the region in high priced areas which many are familiar with.

Inevitably Ponteland in Northumberland, which over the years has been home to home over the years to many a Premier League football star, features.

Ever popular Runnymede Road and Darras Road are regulars on millionaire’s row.

Jesmond also features properties in Osborne Villas, Lindisfarne Road and Mitchell Avenue topping the seven-figure mark.

Then there’s Gosforth which has the most properties included of any area in the North East with the likes of Elmfield Road, Moor Crescent, Eastcliffe Mews, Linden Road and North Avenue.

And finally, Durham where the Ramside Park development in Carrville boasted the most expensive house sold in 2020 according to our research. Ramside Manor sold for £1,950,000 while a neighbouring house also sold for £1.5m.

Here is the full list of million pound plus properties ranked in order of selling price

1: Ramside Manor, 11 Ramside Park, Carrville, Co Durham: £1,950,000

2: 7 Osborne Villas, Jesmond, Newcastle: £1,925,000

3: 35 Montagu Avenue, Gosforth, Newcastle: £1,870,000

4: 32 High Street, Gosforth, Newcastle: £1,650,000

5: 33 Darras Road, Darras Hall, Ponteland, Northumberland: £1,650,000

6: 108 Runnymede Road, Ponteland, Northumberland: £1,645,000

7: Hillcrest, Potters Bank, Durham: £1,525,000

8 = 9 Ramside Park, Carrville, Co Durham: £1,500,000

8 = 49 Moor Crescent, Gosforth, Newcastle: £1,500,000

10: 54 Elmfield Road, Gosforth, Newcastle: £1,385,000

11: 57 Runnymede Road, Ponteland, Northumberland: £1,350,000

12: 27 Lindisfarne Road, Jesmond, Newcastle: £1,225,000

13: 4 Mitchell Avenue, Jesmond, Newcastle: £1,200,000

14 = 121 Darras Road, Darras Hall, Ponteland, Northumberland: £1,150,000

14 = 13a Linden Road, Gosforth, Newcastle: £1,150,000

16: 4 Eastcliffe Mews, Gosforth, Newcastle: £1,101,000

17 = 65 Runnymede Road, Ponteland, Northumberland: £1,075,000

17 = 180 Eastern Way, Ponteland, Northumberland: £1,075,000

19: 58 Elmfield Road, Gosforth, Newcastle: £1,040,000

20: 5 Eastcliffe Mews, Gosforth, Newcastle: £1,025,000

21: 10 Montagu Avenue, Gosforth, Newcastle: £1,010,000

22: 23 North Avenue, Gosforth, Newcastle: £1,009,500

Newcastle-Based Ergo Projects Expands Its Operations To The North West

North East architectural technologists Ergo Projects is expanding its operations after winning work to design dozens of new homes in the North West for a leading housebuilder.

Joseph Christiansson reports for “Newcastle Magazin” that plans have been submitted by the firm for two multi-million pound residential developments in Cumbria, which are being developed by Penrith house builders, Genesis Homes. If they get the green light in spring 2021, the developments will see 33 two, three and four-bedroomed houses and bungalows built on land in Etterby near Carlisle along with a similar mix of 86 new homes in Carleton, Penrith.

This is the latest success for Newcastle-based Ergo which is seeing increased levels of interest in its design capabilities and technical services from developers beyond the North East, despite the challenging economic conditions.

The firm says this will pave the way to further work as developers look to adopt new approaches to boost much-needed residential and affordable housing stock in strategic locations such as Carlisle and Penrith as part of initiatives to tackle the UK’s chronic housing shortage.

Managing director Adrian Reay said: “Ergo, which employs five people but is currently recruiting additional designers, is targeting the £500,000 turnover mark in the next 12 months.”

He said: “Enquiries are up, sales leads are strong and we will be looking to expand our operations as we go for growth in 2021. Genesis Homes is the latest exciting out-of-region project for us, reflecting the expertise available from North East specialists like us to support innovation in the national housing sector.

“It takes us further into areas of opportunity, where our track record in residential design and understanding of technical requirements supports house builders’ commercial needs and roll out plans.”

Genesis Homes, which has built a reputation for developing quality new homes, has awarded Ergo contracts previously to support the rollout of its residential schemes across the North West.

Simon McClelland, architectural designer at Genesis Homes said: “With their innovative and hardworking approach, Adrian and the team at Ergo are working with us to bring forward development projects that will deliver environmentally efficient homes featuring a unique design and contemporary feel.” 

Carbon-free homes of the future? UK’s first hydrogen-fuelled houses to be built in Gateshead

These green houses could become a beacon of hope in the climate change fight.

With the threat of the climate crisis growing ever-more pressing, new homes powered with no CO2 emissions are set to be built in Gateshead – and they could pave the way to a carbon-free future reports ChronicleLive

The UK’s first homes with household appliances fuelled entirely by hydrogen are set to be built in Low Thornley, Gateshead, as part of a North East “green revolution”.

The two semi-detached homes will open in April 2021, and are intended to show how hydrogen can be used as a clean replacement to natural gas for our heating, cooking and hot water.

The houses will be open for viewing by the public, as well as students at local schools, colleges and universities, to demonstrate how the appliances compare to those we’re used to.

They will use 100% hydrogen for domestic heating and cooking in appliances including boilers, hobs, cookers and fires.

Unlike natural gas, which is responsible for over 30% of the UK’s carbon emissions, hydrogen produces no carbon at the point of use. Its only by-product is water.

The project is linked to a wider scheme which could see the UK’s first “Hydrogen Neighbourhood”, and to the development of plans for a potential “Hydrogen Town”, before the end of the decade. It may not be too long before the gas is available in ordinary homes – a 2018 report by Northern Gas Networks called for more than 700,000 homes across Tyneside and Teesside to be converted to run on hydrogen by 2034.

As well as fighting climate change, government ministers say the development of a hydrogen power industry could create up to 8,000 new jobs in the UK by 2030, with the potential to rise to 100,000 jobs by 2050.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Berwick MP and minister for energy and clean growth, said: “In the North East, a green revolution is taking place, with the construction of the UK’s first ever hydrogen-powered houses in Gateshead.

“These homes offer the public a glimpse of what the future holds and are a fantastic example of how the North East is leading the way in the development of clean energy that has the potential to transform the way we live.

“Demonstrating how hydrogen can be used to power our household appliances, these will allow the public to see first-hand that the house of the future is not so different.

“For while the energy that is powering these appliances is new, on the outside they will look and feel just the same as the boilers, heaters and cookers we know and use every day.

“Clean energy has the potential to become an important part of the transformation of the North East and paves the way for new jobs and investment in the region, as we build back greener.”

The project secured a £250,000 grant from the government’s Hy4Heat Innovation programme and is being run by gas company Northern Gas Networks and gas distribution network Cadent, who provided £250,000 of funding each.

Northern Gas Networks CEO Mark Horsley said:“We’re delighted to be working with BEIS and Cadent on this unique demonstration, which gives energy customers a first glimpse at hydrogen technology in the home.

“Just like natural gas, hydrogen can heat homes in exactly the same way, meaning minimal change for customers in terms of how they use gas for heating or cooking.”

“The houses bring to life the potential of this green gas for keeping UK homes warm, while minimising impact on the environment.”

Cadent CEO Steve Fraser added:“We are proud to be part of this important project where we will be able to show customers what their future gas appliances will look like. A familiar sight to them, with one difference, they will be powered by hydrogen.

“These projects are so important to demonstrate a decarbonised energy solution in homes now.”

Application for new housing worries Jesmond residents

A planning application to convert offices on Sandyford’s Portland Terrace into a 10-person house has attracted criticism from local residents, who say South Jesmond is already “saturated” with student housing, reports “JesmondLocal.com”.

South Jesmond councillor Lesley Storey wrote a letter to Newcastle City Council’s planning officer, stating: “I have received several complaints from local residents and I agree with the concerns they have, this proposal is not appropriate in scale for this residential area.”

The concerns are shared by Jesmond Residents Association, which told JesmondLocal in a statement: “The properties either side of the property in question are both residential and as such we are concerned that the proposed conversion would lead to harm to the amenity of neighbouring residents. The JRA will submit an objection on this basis.”

The association pointed out that the application is also opposed by the police.

On the council’s planning application website, one resident wrote: “The problem is not having students in the neighbourhood, but the council’s decision to allow property developers and landlords to allow far too many individuals crammed into a single property, and allowing projects such as these to go ahead.”

2017 document from Newcastle City Council considered the impact of student HMOs (houses of multiple occupancy). Newcastle’s student population numbers around 50,000 and the government’s National Planning Practice Guidance recommends purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) as the best option for cities like Newcastle. At present, it’s estimated that PBSAs can accommodate only 38% of Newcastle students, but Newcastle University is planning to redevelop its Castle Leazes halls of residence to provide a further 1,000 bedrooms.

Some students prefer PBSAs. Thulara Mallikarachchi used to live in Urban Study Jesmond, a private PBSA opposite Portland Terrace, and paid £155 per week for a studio flat. She told JesmondLocal: “I really liked having the 24-hour security and maintenance, and the fact that we had access to indoor socialising facilities.”

However, other students prefer privately rented houses. Kathryn Tyley, a student who lived in an HMO on Doncaster Road in Sandyford, told JesmondLocal: “I like the family atmosphere of sharing a house and I feel like it gives me more space. It’s also cheaper.” Tyley paid £55 per week, without bills, for her house, although she notes that the rent has since increased.

Rajeev Saggar, the planning applicant and director of SS Property Services, did not respond to JesmondLocal’s request for comment.

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