House prices dropping in county

HOUSES in Suffolk are becoming more affordable for first-time buyers after prices dropped by four per cent in the last three months.

HOUSES in Suffolk are becoming more affordable for first-time buyers after prices dropped by four per cent in the last three months.

The average selling price of a home in the county has fallen to £186,168 since the first quarter of this year - and has enabled some people who feared they would never get on the property ladder to start making plans to buy their first home.

Figures, released by the Nationwide housing survey, also show that property values across East Anglia have dipped by five per cent in the last year.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has said that in the East of England 94pc more chartered surveyors reported a fall rather than a rise in house prices since April.

Estate agents across Ipswich are now reporting tough trading conditions- although they recognise that canny buyers are saving thousands in the turmoil, some snapping up homes for up to 15pc below asking price.

But with more first-time buyers now expected to re-enter the market, the number of deals could pick up later in the year.

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Carl Moyse, sales manager at Seatons, said: “The amount of sales have dropped quite considerably, I would say we were two-thirds down on the number of sales at the peak last year.

“Although there are less properties coming on the market we have got a good stock of properties. I think it could be 18 months before things start to pick up again.”

Carl King, sales manager at Moov-in, based in Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, said many sellers were having to accept well below the asking price in order to secure a sale.

He said: “At the moment people are taking ridiculous offers. One house was on the market for £150,000 and the vendors accepted £132,500 for it.

“I don't think anything is going to change in the sales market for the near future, if anything it is going to get worse not better.”

Mr King said many prospective sellers wishing to upgrade are now renting out their property while moving into rented accommodation themselves until the market picks up.

This week the UK's biggest mortgage lender, the Halifax, said prices nationally are falling at the fastest rate in 15 years and are now 6.1pc lower than 12 months ago.

Are you a first-time buyer who has snapped up a bargain? Have you moved into your dream home despite the current climate? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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