City house prices buck national trend

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By KEN MCERLAIN ken.mcerlain@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

THOU­SANDS of home own­ers in Peter­bor­ough were given a boost af­ter it was re­vealed that house prices in the city have risen by four per cent over the year.

It brings the av­er­age cost of a home in Peter­bor­ough to £160,012.

And while the hike is good news for home own­ers, es­tate agents say that buy­ers are also feel­ing more con­fi­dent and the hous­ing mar­ket is look­ing buoy­ant.

The fig­ures have been re­leased by the Na­tion­wide Build­ing So­ci­ety and also show that the av­er­age in­crease na­tion­ally is 1.1 per cent.

The news has been wel­comed by lo­cal es­tate agents and busi­ness chiefs and comes just days af­ter a study named the city as the most af­ford­able place for first-time home buy­ers in the south of Eng­land.

Martin Fitzjohn, the owner of Pe- ter­bor­ough-based Fitzjohn Es­tate Agents, said: “Although it’s only a slight in­crease this is pos­i­tive news.

“Our com­pany had the best De­cem­ber for the past 10 years and I think this trend is go­ing to con­tinue into next year.

“There are a lot of new mort­gage schemes avail­able in Peter­bor­ough now which is help­ing to fuel de­mand for home buy­ers.

“Peo­ple are find­ing it eas­ier to get a mort­gage again, mean­ing more peo­ple are look­ing to buy as op­posed to en­ter­ing the rental mar­ket.”

John Bridge, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Cam­bridgeshire Cham­ber of Com­merce, added: “The fact that the city has a sta­ble prop­erty mar­ket is go­ing to give peo­ple the con­fi­dence to start buy­ing again.

“It’s that con­fi­dence that will get more peo­ple mov­ing to Peter­bor­ough and in­vest­ing their money in the lo­cal econ­omy.

“The news that house prices have risen, com­bined with the city be­ing an af­ford­able place for first-time buy­ers is very en­cour­ag­ing.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tion­wide’s study, nine out of 13 re­gions in the UK recorded a house price rise over 2011. East Anglia saw a rise of 1.5 per cent, mean­ing its av­er­age house price now stands at £167,900.

The big­gest rise was ex­pe­ri­enced in Lon­don with prices soar­ing by 5.4 per cent to an av­er­age of £298,216.

The an­nual in­crease across the UK was 1.1 per cent, push­ing the price of a typ­i­cal home to £163,822 over the year, de­spite a 0.2 per cent month-on­month fall in De­cem­ber.

Robert Gard­ner, Na­tion­wide’s chief econ­o­mist, said: “The one per cent rise in house prices recorded over the past 12 months can hardly be de­scribed as a strong per­for­mance, but against a back­drop of anaemic eco­nomic growth and a de­te­ri­o­rat­ing labour mar­ket, UK house prices are sur­pris­ingly re­silient in 2011.

“Although the high rates of un­em­ploy­ment, fall­ing real wages and the un­cer­tain eco­nomic out­look kept many po­ten­tial home­buy­ers on the side­lines, the num­ber of new homes on the mar­ket helped sup­port prices.”

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