December 6 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Experts say the region’s property market is well on the road to recovery with house prices now at an all time high.
Property in the East of England now costs an average of £257,000 compared to £210,000 in July 2009 when the region felt the knock-on effects of the economic downturn.
Statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said a 1.4% rise in property prices from July 2012 to this July have helped increase the value of homes, surpassing the previous peak of £235,000 before the recession.
James Girling, director of Colin Girling & Company Ltd and PR representative for the Suffolk branch of the National Association of Estate Agents, said: “Since May the market has improved although it is still a buyer market.
“The Government talk about this ‘bubble’ but there isn’t one. Here in the east of the region we haven’t noticed this boom or bust scenario coming our way.
“It’s been a gradual increase of business and the first time buyers are coming through.
“The market is improving and we are optimistic but everything is two or three steps down from where it needs to be.
“The volume of activity is not where it was in 2006 and 2007 before it all went wrong.”
Michael Bedford, a partner at Bedfords in Aldeburgh, said the market has seen more activity.
“There has been more constant activity as well whereas there were peaks and troughs during the past few years,” he added.
“To many people’s surprise we had a record year in 2010 and this year has been as good but it’s too early to tell if it’s going to be better.”
However concerns have been raised that Government initiatives to kick-start the housing market such as Funding for Lending and Help to Buy are in danger of creating a property bubble, with borrowers over-stretching themselves as access to low-deposit deals returns.
Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, warned that rising house prices threaten to price some people trying to get on the property ladder out of the market at a time when households are still under pressure from high inflation and stagnant wages.
He said: “If the Government wants to make housing more affordable - and avoid inflating another property bubble - then it needs to encourage more house building.”