House prices treble in a decade
PROPERTY prices in East Anglia have almost trebled during the past decade - making the region one of the highest growth areas in the UK.The average home in the region now costs £116,193 more than it did in 1996, according to experts Halifax.
By Danielle Nuttall
PROPERTY prices in East Anglia have almost trebled during the past decade - making the region one of the highest growth areas in the UK.
The average home in the region now costs £116,193 more than it did in 1996, according to experts Halifax.
Prices have soared 200% in the past decade, from £58,529 in 1996 to £174,722, the fourth highest increase in the UK.
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But the growth has had a serious impact on first-time buyers, many of whom are finding it virtually impossible to get on the property ladder, according to Colin Girling, spokesman of the Suffolk branch of the National Association of Estate Agents.
He said: “Young couples on average incomes cannot afford to buy at the moment. I don't know what the answer is.
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“There are not many first-time buyers who can afford what's available. What now costs £100,000 is either very small or in very, very poor condition. They cannot afford to buy it and do all the work to bring it up. They're between the proverbial rock and a hard place.
“Stamp duty kicks in at £125,000 but try finding something in that price range.”
Mr Girling described the current housing market as “steady” but said it was unlikely homeowners would see massive increases in the next 12 months.
“At the moment, we would not say they are going up a lot. We're talking about 4-5% in the year,” he said.
“There is a market out there but you have to price the property pretty accurately. We can always gage whether it's going to sell from the volume of enquiries and viewings we get in the first few days of going on the market
“If we getting a house at the bottom end at £120,000, there is huge demand. With more expensive properties, people are not getting the interest they would like.”
Stephen Scrace, Essex secretary of the National Association of Estate Agents, added: “It would be useful if the Government could offer assistance in some form although I appreciate it would be limited.
“I also think the current stamp duty level is too low for this part of the country. What can I buy for £125,000 in this area? Very little.
“There are areas you can find in South Essex something in your price range. It possibly comes down to mobility.
“But I think overall we have had a good year.”
Nationally, house prices have risen by an average of 187% across the UK since the housing market recovered in February 1996.
The average house price has increased from £62,453 in 1996 to £179,425 in 2006 - an average increase of 10.6% per year.