Suffolk house prices slipping back

HOUSE prices in parts of Suffolk are escaping the worst of falling property costs but Ipswich has been hit hard, latest figures reveal.Meanwhile there is a glimmer of hope for first time buyers - with affordability improving, which experts hope will kick-start the local market.

HOUSE prices in parts of Suffolk are escaping the worst of falling property costs but Ipswich has been hit hard, latest figures reveal.

Meanwhile there is a glimmer of hope for first time buyers - with affordability improving, which experts hope will kick-start the local market.

According to official figures from the Land Registry which record the price of every home sold in the county, the average cost of a property in Suffolk is now £203,838, a drop of nearly five per cent in a year and around seven and a half times the average wage.

The figures have been released by the Suffolk Observatory, which is part of the Suffolk Development Agency.

Rural areas appear to be holding up well in the face of falling prices - with Suffolk Coastal recording a rise.

In Babergh, Mid Suffolk and St Edmundsbury the cost of a property has dropped by around 5pc but Ipswich has seen the most dramatic decline of 15.6pc.

Most Read

As a result house affordability is at its lowest since 2005 - when prices were more than nine times the average wage.

Last night, Colin Girling, a spokesman for the Suffolk branch of the National Association of Estate Agents, said it could help bring more first-time buyers onto the housing ladder - but stressed there was still a long way to go because mortgages were hard to come by.

“House affordability going down is obviously good news and I think it could kick start the market again,” he said. “However first time buyers still have to have a deposit.

“Just say the average wage in the county is £25,000 and lenders will give out three times that figure - that's £75,000. While there may be some houses coming down close to that price you still have to find 10pc - I don't think there are any 95pc mortgages at the moment.

“As a result you've got to find around £10,000 to be able to buy. A lot of young people haven't been in that saving frame of mind - that's where the problem lies.”

Mr Girling, who has an estate agency in Ipswich, said while the situation was slowly improving the current economic climate did make people cautious.

“I don't think there will be much activity before Christmas but for anyone who is looking and who has got some money saved then they could get themselves a good deal,” he added.