HOUSE prices in Spalding are bucking regional trends, with one local estate agents reporting the first sale in years above the asking price.
Donna Cook, office manager at Morriss and Mennie, said the average price for a three or four-bedroom detached house was now £170,000.
She said: “We have just sold a bungalow in Mulberry Way over the asking price and this is the first time that has happened in four years since the recession started.”
Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show house prices in the North East, which South Holland falls in, fell sharply by five per cent in the year to February – but local estate agents said we are bucking the regional trend.
The figures are in contrast to London and the South East, where prices showed a small rise of 0.3 per cent. The average price of a house across the UK is now £224,473, according to the ONS.
Housing market activity and prices have been helped by first-time buyers looking to complete before the stamp duty concession ended on March 24,
Donna said: “The market started to pick up in February and sellers can now expect near asking prices. This is a big improvement from four years ago when buyers were negotiating £20-£30,000 below the asking price.”
The range of properties now up for grabs in the Spalding area start at first-time buys from £85,000 to £120,000 up to executive three to four-bedroom properties at £350,000.
Buyers not being able to afford a deposit also pushed up the cost of renting in the area by up to 20 per cent, with three-bedroom properties fetching around £650 per calendar month. Donna said: “Demand has caused the rise because people haven’t been able to get the deposit together to buy.
”However, the first-time buyers who couldn’t afford a deposit four years ago are now coming back to us, which is another reason why properties are now fetching near the asking price.
“Buyers certainly seem more confident in the market.”
Development in the town is also helping confidence in the housing market.
Donna said: “Spalding is a great place to live. Property prices are good, there’s plenty of work, lots of shops and it is surrounded by lovely countryside.
“It is also ideal for London, with easy access by rail via Peterborough.”
How long a property remains on the market is still down to price, condition and location. Donna said: “This doesn’t change. It is always best to decorate, de-clutter and be ready for a viewing.”