Warning on county's property prices

By Mark HeathPROPERTY prices in Suffolk will slow dramatically over the next four years, a leading independent consumer magazine has predicted.Your Mortgage claimed its analysis of the market had shown prices in the county would grow by 12.

By Mark Heath

PROPERTY prices in Suffolk will slow dramatically over the next four years, a leading independent consumer magazine has predicted.

Your Mortgage claimed its analysis of the market had shown prices in the county would grow by 12.9% by the end of 2008.

If correct, that rise will mark a sharp decline in the market - a recent National Association of Estate Agents study showed rises of 12% to 13% in the county over the past 12 months.


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According to the magazine's survey, St Edmundsbury and Suffolk Coastal will be the region's hot-spots over the next four years, with house price rises of 13.6%.

Bottom of the pile in the study were Forest Heath - predicted a 13% rise - and Waveney, with a 10.3% forecasted increase.

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The figures were compiled by Prophit, an independent data analyst, using population trends, projected income levels, employment forecasts and interest rate projections among other data.

Andrew Stuart, editor-in-chief of Your Mortgage, said: “These latest house price projections for Suffolk reflect a projected cooling down in the market over the next few years.

“The south of England - especially the South-East - has seen massive house price inflation for the last few years.

“Our latest predictions show that property prices in some areas are continuing to level out or even fall before picking up again next year, albeit slowly.”

He added: “We would urge homeowners not to panic as we don't expect to see the type of collapse in the housing market that we have seen on the Stock Market over the last few years.

“We would advise people considering stepping on or moving up the housing ladder and recent borrowers to take a long-term view.”

But Colin Girling, spokesman for the Suffolk branch of the National Association of Estate Agents, rejected the magazine's claims.

He said: “There are so many imponderables that I would not want to put my name down and say that - in all honesty it could be 25%, when you consider how prices have shot up.

“It's something that is totally unpredictable. In the past we've thought we were going to have a bad spell and it's gone totally the other way.

“Prices are static at the moment - they're not dropping, but they are in no way going up. As long as the supply continues, then prices will remain steady, but if it falls, the prices will start to creep up again.”

mark.heath@eadt.co.uk

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