Leasehold property sales are driving activity by as much as 99% in some regions, including London

Research from Warwick Estates has revealed the areas of England where leasehold home sales are driving the property market, accounting for as much as 99% of transactions.

Warwick Estates analysed property transactions across England to have completed over the last year, highlighting which pockets of the market are home to the highest number of leasehold homes as a percentage of all transactions.

While leasehold homes have come under fire in recent years, previous research from Warwick Estates shows that they offer a foot on the ladder for as much as a third less than freehold properties. They also provide the added benefit of a more hands-off approach to homeownership, with the freeholder responsible for building maintenance within the communal areas, as well as the wider structural maintenance of the building and the provision of building insurance.

Leaseholds do have their complexities in the eyes of some homebuyers, particularly those looking to put down a firmer foundation for the long-term. You often need permission from the freeholder to make any changes to the property, you might not be allowed pets, or to sub-let, and you also need to be aware of how many years remain on the lease as renewing it will incur a charge.

However, leasehold homes do prove very popular in some parts of the property market. At a regional level, leasehold transactions accounted for half (47%) of all homes sold in London in the last 12 months.

The capital also accounts for the top 10 leasehold homebuyer hotspots, with the City of London seeing leaseholds account for 99% of all homes sold in the last year.

Tower Hamlets (91%), Westminster (85%), Camden (80%), Hackney (80%), Islington (77%), Kensington and Chelsea (75%), Lambeth (72%), Hammersmith and Fulham (70%) and Southwark (69%) have also seen the most leasehold sales as a percentage of all transactions.

But it’s not just London where leasehold homes have proved popular. Outside of the capital, Oldham has seen 67% of all transactions come via leasehold home sales. Other areas to rank with a high number of leasehold transactions include Bolton (65%), Hyndburn (62%), Bury and Burnley (61%).

COO of Warwick Estates, Emma Power, commented:

“The choice between a leasehold or a freehold will be part of a buyer’s designated criteria when searching the market, much like the decision to buy near a good school or to opt for a larger home.

Leaseholds aren’t for everyone due to their more complex nature. That said, our research shows that leaseholds have proven incredibly popular in many pockets of the property market, accounting for half or more of all transactions in many areas.

Leasehold homes certainly suit a certain kind of lifestyle, providing a less hands-on approach to homeownership with the freeholder responsible for the general upkeep of the building. We’ve also seen the communal aspect that comes with leasehold living grow in popularity as a result of lockdown, allowing homebuyers a certain degree of normality and interaction without breaching lockdown restrictions.

They also offer a far more affordable foot on the ladder in many cases and so we expect leasehold homes to continue to provide a substantial level of housing to the nation’s homebuyers.”

Table shows leasehold transactions as a percentage of all transactions by region over the last 12 months
Location All Transactions Leasehold Transactions Leasehold %
England 497,485 98,542 20%
London 53,215 24,965 47%
North West 66,754 22,111 33%
South East 90,250 15,612 17%
South West 60,016 9,349 16%
North East 23,896 3,408 14%
East of England 59,845 7,839 13%
Yorkshire and the Humber 50,388 6,392 13%
West Midlands region 47,659 5,884 12%
East Midlands 45,462 2,982 7%
Source: Land Registry Price Paid property transaction records – Single residential property sales excluding properties classed as ‘other’ (March 2020 to February 2021 – latest available data)
Table shows the areas with the highest number of leasehold transactions as a percentage of all transactions by local authority over the last 12 months
Location All Transactions Leasehold Transactions Leasehold %
CITY OF LONDON 68 67 99%
TOWER HAMLETS 1,709 1,553 91%
CITY OF WESTMINSTER 1,228 1,039 85%
CAMDEN 1,175 944 80%
HACKNEY 1,153 917 80%
ISLINGTON 1,172 908 77%
KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA 993 742 75%
LAMBETH 2,273 1,630 72%
HAMMERSMITH AND FULHAM 1,389 972 70%
SOUTHWARK 1,760 1,206 69%
Source: Land Registry Price Paid property transaction records – Single residential property sales excluding properties classed as ‘other’ (March 2020 to February 2021 – latest available data)
Table shows the areas with the highest number of leasehold transactions as a percentage of all transactions by local authority over the last 12 months (Excluding London)
Location All Transactions Leasehold Transactions Leasehold %
OLDHAM 1,715 1,143 67%
BOLTON 2,551 1,670 65%
HYNDBURN 778 482 62%
BURY 1,673 1,020 61%
BURNLEY 937 569 61%
ROCHDALE 1,772 995 56%
WIGAN 3,115 1,689 54%
SALFORD 2,062 1,059 51%
SHEFFIELD 4,071 1,970 48%
FYLDE 976 470 48%
Source: Land Registry Price Paid property transaction records – Single residential property sales excluding properties classed as ‘other’ (March 2020 to February 2021 – latest available data)