Housing market strong says MP

IPSWICH'S housing market remains strong in spite of fears about a drop in prices of Waterfront flats, the town's MP said today.Chris Mole MP said despite turbulence in the economy and house prices dropping nationally, there is still a demand for homes in Ipswich.

IPSWICH'S housing market remains strong in spite of fears about a drop in prices of Waterfront flats, the town's MP said today.

Chris Mole MP said despite turbulence in the economy and house prices dropping nationally, there is still a demand for homes in Ipswich.

His analysis comes on the back of scores of dockside property owners facing being thousands out of pocket after it emerged prices for plush apartments are plummeting.

Despite the worrying news, Mr Mole said he feels the town's housing market remains fundamentally strong.

He said: “Overall it (the Waterfront situation) doesn't tell us anything in general about the housing market which is still essentially strong with the level of repossessions still 10,000 or so under the level seen in the 1990s.

“We are not in that sort of situation at all and if the correction encourages developers to return to more family housing developments then that would be something that I, and my colleagues in Ipswich, would welcome.”

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Last month the Star reported that a number of Waterfront flats have gone under the hammer for a fraction of their original value after being repossessed because the owners couldn't afford the mortgage payments.

Some estate agents fear initial selling prices may have been too high and have labelled the current downward trend as a “market correction”.

Mr Mole said he felt the rapid construction of new flats in Ipswich has outstripped demand, contributing to the situation.

He said: “We think that the development of flats was necessary to kick start some of the regeneration of the Waterfront but probably for 2008 we have got as many as we need if not too many.

“I suspect we have probably overshot in terms of supply in relation to demand.

“Nationally it has been identified that there was going to be a flattening of the buy to let market this year.

“People understood there was going to be some kind of correction in the flat market because it has been a growth market that responded to a need that was there and may have overshot.

“There may have been an overprovision which is leading to that correction.”

Mr Mole's comments come after the Halifax revealed prices fell by 2.5 per cent in March, the biggest monthly decline since September 1992. Meanwhile mortgage lenders across the UK, including Ipswich Building Society, are withdrawing certain types of mortgage products and asking for more money to be put down as a deposit.

n. What do you think ? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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