House prices boom misses north Essex

Gazette: House prices boom misses north Essex House prices boom misses north Essex

HOUSE prices in north Essex have increased by much less than the national average in the past year, new figures suggest.

Property analyst Hometrack says prices in Colchester increased by 2 per cent during 2013. In Tendring, there was practically no increase at all – just 0.2 per cent.

The figures fly in the face of reported national increases averaging 4.4 per cent, while in Essex prices are said to have risen by 5.4 per cent.

Charlotte Coleman, assistant manager at Beresfords Estate Agents’ Colchester branch said the town’s relatively modest price increases had meant more houses were bought and sold.

She added: “Our usually quiet months, August and September, were some of our busiest, and it’s been the same with December.

“People are being a bit fairer with their prices and are more educated about putting homes on the market for the right price.

“I think in the first quarter of next year will see a lot more properties coming on to the market. I would expect the market to peak.”

The average house price in Colchester last year was £202,000.

Mid-Essex house prices increased more than anywhere else in Essex, with homes in the CM7-10 postcode areas, including Tollesbury and Witham, increasing in price by 5.8 per cent.

In Braintree they increased by a hefty 6.9 per cent, while the average price of properties in the CM postcode area, which includes the Braintree and Maldon districts, increased by 5.6 per cent.

Paul Bird, of Joscelyne Chase estate agents, in Braintree, said his firm had seen a 15 to 20 per cent year-on-year increase in residential sales between May and November.

He added: “You get a lot for your money in central Braintree and I think that’s a positive thing, in attracting people to the town.

“There’s big demand for new homes, but very little supply.

“Demand has out-stripped supply very quickly.”

Jack Chandler, at estate agent Spicer McColl’s Clacton office, said: “We are probably a few years away from the market being back to where we want it to be, but we are on an upward curve.”

He said the area’s modest increases had helped the property market in Tendring to remain busy.

Mr Chandler added: “It has been the best year in Clacton since 2007, and a record year on house sales.

“This year was much stronger than predicted and I think we are hoping for a similarly strong year in 2014.”

Mr Chandler said he thought the Government’s new Help to Buy scheme, which means firsttime buyers need only find a five per cent deposit, instead of the usual 20 per cent, had not had much effect in Tendring.

Elsewhere, it has been widely regarded as an important factor in putting up prices, but Mr Chandler said: “Many of the people here are looking to retire and buying bungalows.”

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