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East of England: Fresh concerns raised over ‘huge’ rise in average property prices

PUBLISHED: 19:15 25 March 2014 | UPDATED: 19:15 25 March 2014

Average house prices rose by £12,000 in a year, from £254,000 in January 2013 to £266,000 in January 2014  the highest-ever average property value reported in the region and above the UK average of £254,000.

Average house prices rose by £12,000 in a year, from £254,000 in January 2013 to £266,000 in January 2014  the highest-ever average property value reported in the region and above the UK average of £254,000.

Archant © 2008

Fresh fears about “huge” house prices have been raised after official figures showed the average property value in the east of England has lifted to another new peak of £266,000.

Average house prices rose by £12,000 in a year, from £254,000 in January 2013 to £266,000 in January 2014 – the highest-ever average property value reported in the region and above the UK average of £254,000.

It was an annual increase of 4.7%, the Office for National Statistics research found, and marked the fastest January-to-January increase since a £17,000 upshot between 2010 and 2011.

The new figures eclipse the record average property price reported last month.

Jan Hytch, the East Anglian-based president of the National Association of Estate Agents, described the news as a “big concern”.

“More than a quarter of a million pounds for the average price of a house is a huge amount in anyone’s parlance,” she added.

“It is a blow to young people trying to get on the property ladder.

“The market needs to be controlled and the Government needs to help efforts to build more affordable housing and provide more supply.”

Nationally, housing market activity has shown strong signs of lifting over the last year amid improving consumer confidence and a flood of low-deposit mortgages.

The Government’s signature Help to Buy scheme to help people with 5% deposits was launched last year. In last week’s Budget, chancellor George Osborne confirmed plans to extend the first phase of the initiative until the end of the decade, in a move expected to increase the supply of new-build homes.

However some experts have argued the scheme has ramped up the pressure on house prices, by injecting more demand from buyers in areas where there is already a shortage of homes.

But Matthew Pointon, a property economist at Capital Economics, said the country is “a long way off the lending conditions that preceded the mid-2000s housing market boom”.

MP Therese Coffey has refused to apologise after questioning why police kept Orwell Bridge closed for eight hours following a fatal accident.

Eight fans were arrested by police after trouble broke out among a small group of football supporters at the end of the East Anglian derby at Portman Road in Ipswich.

A new Chief Fire Officer is being recruited to Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) – on a £140,000 per year salary.

A 21-year-old man was treated for stab wounds after being robbed in Colchester’s Greenstead Estate on Saturday evening.

A woman was treated for severe hypothermia by coastguard volunteers after entering the sea at Pakefield.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) is publicly supporting London Fire Brigade’s campaign to ask people to stop using the outdated term ‘fireman’.

A children’s book set along the banks of the river Orwell was brought to life during a marathon reading hosted at a Suffolk sailing club marking 80 years since it was published.

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