Property market ‘is picking up again’

THE housing market in Suffolk appears to be improving with estate agents reporting an increase in interest during the past fortnight.

Estate agents have told the EADT that since the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, the number of potential buyers and sellers has increased.

James Girling, of Ipswich estate agents Colin Girling and Company, said: “We had two or three weeks where nothing was happening and the news about redundancies at Suffolk County Council didn’t help the situation.

“But it has picked up again now and we have three or four weeks before people start thinking about Christmas.”

Despite the cutbacks within the public sector, Mr Girling believes people are generally feeling more positive about the future of our economy. “People have to carry on with their normal lives, people have got to have somewhere to live and in the long term buying is cheaper than renting.”

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His prediction comes as national property website Rightmove announced that there is much confusion over the direction of house prices in East Anglia. A survey of home movers shows one in three are pessimistic about values.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, explained this figure has risen from one in ten in the space of a year but pointed out that falling prices could have a positive impact on the market.

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He said: “It shouldn’t be forgotten that a drop in house prices improves affordability and may bring prices into reach for some potential buyers in East Anglia who are currently unwilling or unable to proceed.”

Mr Girling agreed that there has been a lack of first-time buyers in recent months. He said: “If lenders start letting first time buyers in with a 5% rather than 15 or 20% deposit it would help bring more buyers to the market, but then prices will go up because there will be more demand.

“We have several houses that need work doing and people would love to buy them because they are cheaper but by the time they have put down a 15% deposit, there is no money left over to do the property up.”

Simon Clow, of Palmer and Partners in Ipswich, said: “We have witnessed a slowdown this month but there are plenty of properties out there and buyers can afford to take their time.

“They can put in low offers and see what happens.”

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