Darwen’s New 3 Speed Property Market

“What’s happening to the Darwen Property Market” is a question I am asked repeatedly.  Well, would it be a surprise to hear that my own research suggests that there isn’t just one big Darwen property market – but many small micro-property markets?

According to recent data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), I have discovered that at least three of these micro-property markets have emerged over the last 20+ years in the town.

For ease, I have named them the …

  1. lower’ Darwen Property Market.
  2. lower to middle’ Darwen Property Market.
  3. ‘middle’ Darwen Property Market.

The ‘lower’ and ‘lower to middle’ sectors of the Darwen property market have been fuelled over the last few years by two sets of buyers. The first set, making up the clear majority of those buyers, are cash rich landlord investors who are throwing themselves into the Darwen property market to take advantage of alluringly low prices and even lower interest rates. The other set of buyers in the ‘lower’ and ‘lower to middle’ Darwen property market are the first-time buyers (FTB), although the FTB market is in a state of unparalleled deadlock as it’s been trampled into near-immobility and incapacity by the new 2014 stricter mortgage affordability regulations and also fewer mortgages with low deposits.

Some of you may be interested to know how I have classified the three sectors ..

  1. lower’  housing market – the bottom 10% (in terms of value) of properties sold
  2. lower to middle’  housing market – lower Quartile (or lowest 25% in terms of value) of properties sold
  3. middle’  housing market – which is the median in terms of value

And if one looks at the figures for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council area you can see the three different sectors (lower, lower/middle and middle) have performed quite differently.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council Property Market  – Sold Prices Price Paid in 1995 Price Paid in 2017 Percentage Uplift

1995 – 2017

Lower (Bottom 10%) £14,000 £51,500 267.86%
Lower to Middle (Lower Quartile) £21,100 £70,000 231.75%
Middle (The Median) £36,056 £121,969 238.28%

You can quite clearly see that it is the ‘lower’ market that has performed the best.

Darwen, Property Expert, Paul Ainsworth Lord, Estate AgentsDarwen, Property Expert, Paul Ainsworth Lord, Estate Agents

You might ask, what do all these different figures mean to homeowners and landlords alike?  Quite a lot – so let me explain. The worst performing sector (with the lowest Percentage uplift) was the ‘lower to middle’ housing market. Therefore, interestingly, if we applied the best percentage uplift figure (i.e. from the ‘lower’ market percentage uplift), to the ‘lower to middle’ 1995 housing market figure, the 2017 figure of £70,950, would have been £77,618 instead – quite a difference you must agree?

Now, I have specifically not mentioned the upper reaches of the Darwen housing market for several reasons.  Firstly, the lower or middle market is where most of the buy to let investment landlords buy their property and where the majority of property transactions take place. Secondly, due to the unique and distinctive nature of Darwen’s up-market property scene (because every property is different and they don’t tend to sell as often as the lower to middle market), it is much more difficult to calculate what changes haveDarwen, Property Expert, Paul Ainsworth Lord, Estate Agents occurred to property prices in that part of the Darwen property market – looking at the stats for the up-market Darwen property market from Land Registry, only 11 properties in Darwen (and a 3 mile radius around it) have sold for £1,000,000 or more since 1997.

So, what should every homeowner and buy to let landlord take from the information that there are many micro-property markets? Well, when you realise there isn’t just one Darwen Property Market, but many Darwen “micro-property markets”, you can spot trends and bag yourself some potential bargains. Even in this market, I have spotted a number of bargains over the last few months that I have shared in my Property Blog and to my landlord database, especially in the ‘lower’ and ‘lower/middle’ market. If you want to be kept informed of those buy to let bargains, have a look at my blog it’s free to do so and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to miss out – would you?

Darwen, blackburn, Lancashire, Property, Paul Ainsworth Lord, Ainsworth Lord Estates


Paul Ainsworth Lord – Local Property Expert
Ainsworth Lord Estates 

49 Market Street, Darwen, Lancashire, BB3 1Ps

Tel: 01254 760660

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