Housing market

PROPERTY experts have warned that the housing market is "in the doldrums" after new figures revealed that price tags have fallen for 10 consecutive months.

PROPERTY experts have warned that the housing market is "in the doldrums" after new figures revealed that price tags have fallen for 10 consecutive months.

A survey by Hometrack for April found that the average house price in Suffolk has fallen by 0.2% to £147,100.

This compares to a 0.3% drop in Essex to £183,300 and a 0.2% drop in Norfolk to £137,500.

In the county town of Ipswich the average property price remains stable at £145,800.


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In East Anglia the average price of a home has fallen by the national average of 0.1% to £146,800, with the number of agreed sales rising by 8.7%.

Meanwhile the time it takes to sell a house remains below the national average at 7.2 weeks.

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John Wriglesworth, Hometrack's housing economist, said: "The forthcoming election, a change of pope and a newly married heir to the throne has done nothing to improve the housing market, which remains in the doldrums.

"Election jitters are not helping but this is only temporary. Post election whichever party wins there is likely to be a bounce back in the market as the economic and political prospects become more certain.

"Mortgages are still very affordable and incomes are continually rising. There are no fundamental reasons why the market should not recover - confidence is the key. We continue to predict a 3% house price inflation for the year."

According to the survey house prices in England and Wales have now been decreasing for the past 10 months. But despite the drop, the last four months have seen reducing price falls, suggesting the market is stabilising.

Nationally the average price is now £162,100 compared to a peak £167,700 in June last year.

In contrast to the lacklustre price changes activity has increased this month with the number of agreed sales rising by 9.4% and the amount of time it takes to sell a property remaining stable at 7.4 weeks.

Overall 21 counties have seen price rises or remained static and 31 have seen falls. Central London and the West Midlands remain at the top of the list with a rise of 0.6% while the largest fall was 0.7% in Bedfordshire.

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