Property prices soar by 18% in a year

HOUSE prices in Suffolk have risen by 18% in a year, according to the latest Government figures.The average cost of a house in the county increased to £180,907 between July and September, compared to just £153,355 for same period last year.

HOUSE prices in Suffolk have risen by 18% in a year, according to the latest Government figures.

The average cost of a house in the county increased to £180,907 between July and September, compared to just £153,355 for same period last year.

The rise is in line with a general increase for the whole of East Anglia, which saw prices move from £153,874 to £174,948.

Suffolk Coastal experienced the largest increase in the county with prices rising on average from £176,308 between July and September last year to £212,844 this year.


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Babergh was a close second moving from £173,445 to £208,154, Forest Heath third with an increase from £141,691 to £174,614 and St Edmundsbury fourth with a rise from £164,957 to £188,292.

However an industry expert has warned the figures, which were published by the Land Registry Office as part of its Residential Property Price Report, should be viewed with care.

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Gary Smith, Suffolk chairman for the National Association of Estate Agents, said: “Most of the evidence now shows that house prices are returning to stability and that things are lot calmer than they were.

“The problem with the Land Registry is that it bases its figures on when a sale is fully completed, which can take two to three months. As a result the figures are a little bit behind what is actually happening.

“Because estate agents are at the sharp end of the industry we have found that since July prices are levelling off. So I would warn that these figures should be treated with caution.

“The news is only good for homeowners if the figures are fact, which from our point of view does not seem to be the case. Prices have stabilised which is good news for first0time buyers.”

Dr Will Gibson, chief executive of rural campaign group Suffolk ACRE, added: “If the figures are correct it is obviously good for those who are selling. Our only concern would be if the rises were pricing people out of the housing market. There needs to be adequate provision to ensure that this does not happen and that first-time buyers can afford to move house.”

Looking to the future, Mr Smith said that he thought the quiet period would continue until Christmas, with prices possibly picking up again in the New Year.

“The timing of the General Election is very pertinent to this. The last thing the Labour Government would want is to preside over a house price recession,” he added.

The average house price in England and Wales for the quarter was £187,971, an annual increase of 16.27%.

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