City house prices buck national trend
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.”