House prices see worst decline in East Anglia


A new report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) shows that East Anglia is experiencing the worst decline in house prices in the UK, with a fall of 1.3% in the last quarter of 2007, compared to a national average of 0.8%.


[UKPRwire, Tue Jan 22 2008] A new report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) shows that East Anglia is experiencing the worst decline in house prices in the UK, with a fall of 1.3% in the last quarter of 2007, compared to a national average of 0.8%.

Annually, house price growth in the region is 3.9%, below the UK average of 5.3%, according to the Halifax House Price Index. The average house price in East Anglia is £190,984, which is 3% below the national average of £197,071.

The mood of estate agents in Norfolk reflects the deep uncertainties of the market there. Carl Eastwood, of Bidwells estate agents in Norwich, thought the figure for the fall in house prices was “conservative” and said that “the [houses] that are selling are the ones where people are reducing the price. If prices have not been reduced, they are not shifting at all.” However, as Giles Hart of William H Brown estate agents noted, conditions can be more advantageous for first-time buyers, as “there is a fairly decent level of stock to choose from and some good value deals to be had.”

This applies particularly to the low end of the market, which has been more severely hit by the fall in prices and therefore offers a larger choice and better deals, whereas properties at the upper end of the market are less affected.

With an average price of £296,727, Cambridge is the most expensive town in the region, and, at the other end of the spectrum, Lowestoft is the most affordable, with an average price of £155,293.

The decline however must be seen in the context of the strong price growth in East Anglia over the last decade – in this period, flats and maisonettes in the region saw a growth of 267% (from £38,141 to £140,114) and overall house prices rose by 197%.

“The drop in prices will be a blow especially for people whose homes have soared in value over recent years and are now suddenly worth less,” said Lawrence Smith of Decision Homebuyers. “If they have been waiting to sell, they now have to decide whether to do so before prices drop any further or whether to sit tight and ride out the market wobbles. First-time buyers, on the other hand, may find that they can secure a good deal on a house they couldn’t afford only last summer.”




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