Whatever you may have heard about Stoke on Trent, one thing is true – it always has been an affordable place to live. However, today the city is experiencing a lot of investment and a key part of this is a five-year housing strategy that aims to turn Stoke into a thriving city, ripe for investment and to attract people from surrounding areas to live and work.
But how successful has this been? Will his investment mean Stoke is no longer affordable to most people? What is the current state of the housing market and are prices rising like everywhere else?
Let’s take a deep dive into Stoke and see if it still is an affordable and nice place to live.
Is Stoke a nice place to live?
Stoke has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. Yes, in the past, it may not have had the best reputation thanks to its relatively high levels of deprivation and crime. Whilst some areas of the city still struggle with issues, as a whole Stoke is almost unrecognisable to many thanks to recent investments and numerous attractions.
There are many more jobs in the local area and as a result, people’s standard of living has been and is rising. This is always good news, as the more people earn, the more businesses are attracted to the area and help lift the city in many different ways.
So yes, Stoke is a nice place to live and it’s getting nicer by the day!
The cost of living in Stoke-on-Trent
In comparable terms, the cost of living in Stoke is significantly lower than other areas of the Midlands especially when compared to southern England. For instance, for a family of four, the estimated monthly expenses, excluding rent, are around £2,301. A single person, on the other hand, can expect monthly costs of approximately £704 without rent. These figures make Stoke-on-Trent 31.1% less expensive than London. When it comes to rent, Stoke-on-Trent offers significant savings, with average rental prices being a striking 72.4% lower than those in the capital.
This is not surprising when you look at the jobs market. As of 2019, the city boasted nearly 122,000 jobs with an average annual increase of 2,070 jobs over the previous five years. The job market in Stoke-on-Trent has shown particular strength in sectors such as health, logistics, IT, and construction, while public services, wholesale, and retail remain prominent.
Average earnings for full-time workers have risen by more than a fifth over the last five years to approximately £28,147, though they still lag behind regional and national averages.
So with wages lower than average, this is reflected in the cost of living and is what attracts many people from outside the area who want to invest in a relatively affordable city and can get more bang for their buck from people who are looking to sell house fast locally.
Are house prices falling in Stoke-on-Trent?
According to data from Onthemarket, house prices are falling, which will be great news for investors and first-time buyers. The average price paid for properties in Stoke-on-Trent is £163,000 which is a fall of 18.3% over the last 12 months, a big dip by any standards. This can be explained when we zoom out of the local market and instead look at the national picture:
Cost of Living Crisis
There is a cost-of-living crisis across the whole of the UK that is affecting people’s spending power and ability to save up for house deposits. This is primarily caused by high inflation figures, currently standing at around 6%.
High Mortgage Rates
With high inflation also came high mortgage rates. Today, for a two-year fixed-rate mortgage, the average rate stands at 5.37%, although Nationwide is set to offer a new 2-year fix at 4.99% as of November 10th, 2023. Despite some reductions in rates, these are huge increases compared to just a few years ago and have put mortgages out of reach for many people, so fewer people are looking to buy homes, which therefore reduces house prices as the demand sags.
Where not to live in Stoke-on-Trent?
While Stoke-on-Trent, in general, offers a good quality of life, like any town or city it has its less favourable areas. According to a recent investigation by Stoke on Trent Live, Hanley and Etruria have emerged as neighbourhoods with high crime rates. Between April 22, 2022, and April 23, 2023, a total of 4,531 separate offences were recorded, well above the national average.
However local police are actively working to keep residents safe with various measures including the issuance of Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs) to repeat offenders, Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) to regulate behaviour in public spaces, and initiatives like the ‘Safe Space’ scheme.
While certain neighbourhoods may face challenges, ongoing efforts to combat crime and improve safety continue across Stoke-on-Trent and should pay dividends over the coming years.
What is the nicest part of Stoke-on-Trent?
Stoke-on-Trent reveals a significant contrast in household income levels. Here’s a glimpse of the poshest areas in Stoke-on-Trent, alongside their respective total annual household incomes:
- Trentham East: Claims the top spot with an average total annual household income of £47,900.
- Meir Park: Following closely, Meir Park boasts an average income of £44,400.
- Hanford and Trentham West: With an average income of £41,300, this area also ranks among the city’s most affluent.
- Baddeley and Milton: Not far behind, Baddeley and Milton feature an average total annual income of £40,800.
- Basford and Hartshill: Securing a place on the list, Basford and Hartshill residents enjoy an average income of £40,400.
Whether you are considering moving or investing in the city, Stoke’s opportunities are worth exploring. If you’re looking to sell house fast and make a move away from the area, consider speaking to We Buy Any Home. As cash house buyers, we can facilitate a quick sale and connect you with a pool of investors eager to take on your property. Contact us today to learn more.