Lancashire's Housing Market Shows Stability

(Last Updated: 05/02/2024)
10 min read

Average Sale Price


Price Growth

(YoY to November)

Best Growth YoY

West Lancashire & Lancaster
(+9.6% & +4.9%)

Least Growth YoY

Burnley & Hyndburn
(-11.1% & -11%)
Key Takeaways
  • Our Lancashire property market looks at the latest data available as of January 2024, spanning 20 years
  • While average house prices across the region of Lancashire hold steady versus last year, growth and loss varies hugely by district
  • New build properties are pulling the average house price in Lancaster up significantly, worth almost double the average existing house
  • Sales volume is improving, after the worst July for property sales in Lancashire in 20 years

Iconic buildings in Preston, Lancashire. SAM Conveyancing's latest report on the Lancashire property market.

How does the Bank of England Influence the Lancashire property market?

House prices in Lancashire peaked in December of 2022 but fell during the spring of 2023 along with the rest of the country when the base rate broke over 3% and kept rising. The Bank of England's base rate dictates lender's interest rates. More expensive borrowing combined with poor buyer confidence and the cost of living crisis drive house prices down, but the base rate remains high, in order to drive down inflation.

Out of control inflation means that everything gets more expensive and our money is worth less in real terms, so it can't be left unchecked.

Borrowing will remain relatively expensive until the Bank of England can bring the base rate down, which they have previously indicated won't happen until the summer when they hope to get inflation down to 2%. This will continue to suppress spending power and sales volume in Lancashire and nationwide.

Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Will there be a UK recession in 2024?

The UK Economy fell into recession last year, but positive annual growth of 0.25% was initially forecast by the Bank of England at the beginning of 2024.

The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) revised their forecasts upwards at the end of February, to 0.5% for 2024, 0.7% for 2025, and a healthier 1% growth for 2026.

This, however, is well below the pre-pandemic average. NEISR estimate that Britain's poorest households will not recover fully until 2027.

Sales volume seems to be recovering

July was the lowest for property sales volume in Lancashire. This was following the second worst May and the worst April for Lancashire. But while sales remain very slow, they haven't been quite so far behind ever since, which suggests we're past the worst of last year's lull in property transactions. In September, Lancashire saw 59% of the volume of sales compared to the same month in the previous year.

Here at SAM, where we have more current anecdotal data, we're certainly seeing property transactions picking up across the country; our sales volume for January was 20% up on last year.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)

Are house prices dropping in North West England?

House prices in North West England are dropping, but much less than England & Wales as a whole. In Lancashire, house prices fell by 0.2% in the year to November; compared to the 2.9% drop across the nation, house prices in Lancashire are holding steady. There is a wide range of growth and loss on house prices in different districts in the Lancashire property market though, as we'll discuss below.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)

Do you need conveyancing services for a Lancashire property?

What our survey revealed about homebuyers
Our survey, conducted by YouGov, reveals the top challenges faced homeowners when buying their most recent property, plus the true costs of defects when skipping a home buyers survey.

What are homebuyers looking for?

South Ribble has the most active property market in Lancashire

While Blackpool and Preston have seen the highest number of transactions, South Ribble is performing best, seeing 70% of the transactions for the same month in the previous year. This is closely followed by Preston (70%) and Wyre (69%), all well above the average for the region of Lancashire as a whole (59%).

Rossendale is suffering the worst in Lancaster under under the market cool down, with less than half the transactions of the same month last year (45%), followed by Fylde (46%) and Ribble Valley (47%).

Channel 4 named South Ribble the best place to live in the country, back in 2017. The decision was made by analysing health, average house prices, job opportunities and road links. The area is popular with 20-30 year olds thanks to its green spaces and high employment rate.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)

Ribble Valley is the most expensive place to own a home in Lancashire

Ribble Valley includes a significant portion of the Forest of Bowland area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). It is sparsely populated and offers beautiful rural scenes, peaceful villages and beautiful, detached Lancashire stone farmhouses with land, which drives up the average property price. The higher prices may be what is keeping sales volume down amidst the cost of living crisis.

The average house price in Ribble Valley is £279,679 which is £90,305 higher than the regional average at £189,374, but £17,133 below the national average a at £296,812.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)

Where is the cheapest place to buy house in Lancashire?

Burnley has the lowest average property price in Lancashire at £104,309, where you can buy a comfortable three bedroom home for less than half what it'll cost you in the Ribble Valley. It sits on the Leeds and Liverpool canal and is connected to Leeds and Manchester by direct trains (journey time approx. 1hr 15).

The town hosts a 700 year old market, has a rich industrial heritage and is surrounded by beautiful countryside. If you are looking to get more for your money, Burnley may be the best place to buy a house in Lancashire; however, house prices are dropping in the district.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)

The growth gap in Lancashire is widening

With a few small exceptions, the year-on-year property value growth of each district in Lancashire has followed a close trajectory, since before the 2008 crash when things varied more wildly (in March 2003, Fylde recorded +47% growth while Burnley saw +1%). November 2024 saw districts diverge again, ranging from +9.6% to -11.1%. It is not the widest variation we have seen since then, but does show that its important to look beyond the apparently stable -0.2% growth for Lancashire as a region.

The fan shape at the recent end of the above graph 'Average house prices across Lancashire' further illustrates how property in the lower value districts is becoming less desirable, while at the same time, property in the higher value districts is becoming more expensive.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)

New build homes in Lancaster worth 2x existing properties

While new build homes in Lancashire account for just a fraction of the total homes, they are almost twice as expensive as existing property. Looking at the latest data for new builds vs existing properties (Sept 23), the average existing home in Lancashire cost £180,852, compared to the average new build house in Lancashire, costing £330,043.

These higher-cost new homes drove the total average home up by £6,867 to £187,719 in the same month. If you are buying a home in Lancashire, you'll get more value for money on a pre-existing property than a new build.

When buying a pre-existing property, always get a home survey. New builds are built to strict regulations and there have been no previous owners who may have made dangerous alterations, so you'll only need a snagging survey. If you are buying a home which is not brand new, you should get a Level 2 Survey as minimum, or a Level 3 survey for older or unusual properties. We can help you choose the right one for your home.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)

Terraced house values continue to outperform flats and maisonettes in Lancashire

Over the past 20 years we can see that terraced houses in Lancashire were worth less than flats and maisonettes and then followed along very much on a par, until about 5 years ago. It is possible that the pandemic and a stronger need for private outdoor space has put a premium on houses in Lancashire, versus multistorey living, as the gap has reached over £20,000.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)

Interestingly, this paints a very different picture compared to the numbers for England and Wales where flats and maisonettes have historically outperformed terraced houses, almost matching the average value of semi detached homes right up until the pandemic hit, where they fell suddenly in line with terraced houses. Its likely this disparity is down to higher value flats and maisonettes in more densely populated urban areas, including more expensive central city locations around the country.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)

Where is the best place to live in Lancashire?

Great Eccleston was awarded Lancashire's poshest village by Savill's in 2022. It sits on the River Wyre and is rich in history and agricultural heritage, with monthly and weekly markets and a population of just 2,000. It is an attractive village with charming local pubs, just 11 minutes from the M55; placing it within an easy commute to Blackpool, Lancaster and Preston. House prices in the village have averaged £297,335 over the past year (Rightmove).

What is next for the Lancashire housing market?

Last year Lancashire was awarded 200 million pounds from the second round of the Government's Levelling Up Fund, including 50 million to make its transport system greener and 50 million for Eden Morecambe.

Other projects include Blackpool's Multiversity and redevelopment of Accrington market hall. The total funds awarded to Lancashire in Levelling Up Round Two works out at £130 per resident, which puts the region at a distinct advantage over the £48 per resident national average.

Regenerative investment of this kind improves the economic outlook of the region, as well as education and career opportunities for residents. Areas in where development projects are carried out often benefit from a relative boost in property prices.

Should I buy a house in Lancashire?

Lancashire is an excellent location for homeowners who want to tick multiple boxes:

  • Rural charm or vibrant cities
  • Strong house price growth in 7 out of 9 districts
  • Excellent transport links
  • Well preserved architecture
  • Industrial & agricultural heritage
  • Outstanding natural beauty
  • Highly rated education
  • Diverse employment opportunities

Property prices in seven out nine Lancashire districts are still rising. Though Lancashire house prices may fall slightly this year as the country's economy continues to recover, economists predict that the house prices will rise again from 2025-2028. If you can afford to buy now, it is likely you'll be able to switch to a more affordable mortgage rate in a couple of years, by which point your investment will hopefully have appreciated in value.

If you are renting and can afford to buy at the current rate of interest, this may be a much more desirable option than saving for a bigger deposit, as rents are set to rise nationally by 5% or more (but only 2% in London), whereas mortgage rates are likely to fall.

If you are ready to buy a house in Lancashire, we can handle your purchase with a dedicated SAM Conveyancing Consultant to manage your transaction alongside one of our hand-selected panel solicitors.

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"Now January is upon us, at SAM Conveyancing, we have seen a 20% increase in sales volume compared to last year, which indicates a mini-housing bubble of buyers coming to market after holding off. Dare I say we have a housing market that has hope for 2024...let's see!"

- Andrew Boast FMAAT MIC
CEO and Author | SAM Conveyancing

Sources: Latest data from - Gov.UK, Bank of England, UK House Price Index, ONS, Property Mark (NAEA), and Rightmove.

Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
Written by:

Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.

Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Reviewed by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands-on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.
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