Essex: ‘Steam is coming out of housing market’ - house prices level off after ‘frentic’ 18 months of price increases

Housing market has cooled in Essex

Housing market has cooled in Essex - Credit: PA

Some of the “steam” is coming out of the Essex housing market after a “frenetic” 18 months of price increases.

Homeowners and buyers have been told not to be alarmed by the news, with no dip in prices expected in the near future.

According to the latest survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), in September, new buyer demand in the region slipped to the same levels as July 2013 while the number of houses on the market continued to fall month on month.

John Palmer, managing director of Palmer and Partners, based in Colchester, Ipswich and Sudbury, said: “It is more seasonal. It is currently quieter than it has been perhaps a month ago.

“But it normally gets quieter this time of year. Any dip in house prices may be reported by those that have overpriced their houses.

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“If your house is valued well it will sell. In the past 18 months we have seen overpriced houses sell for maybe £10,000 more than they were worth.

“Maybe people were just paying over the odds, while with others the market just caught up with their valuation within a couple of months.

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“The market has levelled off compared to the last 18 months, but we are not seeing a dip in prices at all.”

Alan Williams, partner at Colchester based Fenn Wright estate agents, said: “The autumn market is busy but there are some quieter moments in there to keep us guessing.

“Some of the steam has indeed come out of the market. I don’t think it’s an alarming trend, just a combination of the seasonal effect and an inevitable slowing of the pace following a frenetic last twelve months.

“In September, East Anglia saw the biggest month-on-month jump in average asking prices, with the average price rising by 3% to £249,860.

“However, there have been some signs that toughened mortgage rules, which came into force in April under the Mortgage Market Review, and force lenders to ask more questions about a mortgage applicant’s spending habits, have slowed down the house sale process.”

Accroding to RICS, in the East of England, new buyer demand slipped to the same levels as in July 2013.

However, the survey revealed that despite the slowing buyer’s market, the lettings market in the East of England was up at the beginning autumn.

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