East Anglia bucking house price trend

HOUSE prices in East Anglia have risen despite prices nationally suffering their biggest monthly fall since the 1990s, new figures reveal.

Anthony Bond

HOUSE prices in East Anglia have risen despite prices nationally suffering their biggest monthly fall since the 1990s, new figures reveal.

According to the Halifax, house prices in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire rose by 1.4% during the first quarter of this year.

This compared to a national reduction of 2.5% - the biggest monthly fall since the 1990s house price crash.

In Suffolk the average house prices have risen 221% in ten years - from £68,681 in 1997 to £220,290 in 2007.

Estate Agent Stuart Clarke, from Clarke & Simpson in Framlingham, said the figures released by Halifax are unrealistic.

Most Read

“In our part of the county it is a lot harder than this time last year and I would not say that prices have gone up,” he said. “But I would not say that they have dropped either. We are suggesting to vendors that they have got to be realistic about their prices and put their house at a price that they are likely to achieve.”

Mr Clarke added: “I think we are lucky to live in a wonderful part of the world that it is commutable to London and so it will continue to be popular. We might not have to be as concerned as other parts of the country are going to be.”

Tom Bishop, an estate agent at Spicer McColl in Ipswich, also disagreed with the Halifax figures and said homeowners are having to reduce prices to sell.

“It is tough but there is still a really good volume of properties selling but people have got to be so keen on price and cheaper than the competition to sell,” he said. “If 10 properties are in an area you have got to be the cheapest one to get interest.

“The majority of properties are selling for less but because people are buying for less there is no difference.”

House prices nationally are now just 1.1% higher than they were a year ago, the slowest rate of annual growth for 12 years.

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), said the figures should be put into perspective.

“These figures are set against the credit crunch, which has undoubtedly affected confidence in the market,” he said. “However, the key factors that underpin the housing market still exist - low unemployment and a pent-up demand for houses. We can see from the figures in other regions that it is not all doom and gloom out there and in many regions the market is broadly stable.”

The Halifax said it expects there to be a “modest decline” in UK house prices this year but it added that any decline should be viewed in the context of significant price rises in recent years.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter