Good news for Norwich house market

Emily DennisThe housing market in Norwich appears to be gathering strength with some properties selling for 'extremely good' prices, estate agents said today.Emily Dennis

The housing market in Norwich appears to be gathering strength with some properties selling for 'extremely good' prices, estate agents said today.

The news came as it emerged that annual house price rises broke into double digits for the first time in nearly three years during April.

The average cost of a UK home is now 10.5pc higher than it was in April 2009 at �167,802, the first time annual growth has reached double figures since June 2007, according to Nationwide.

Estate agents in Norwich have described the figures as 'encouraging'.

William Lightfoot, senior branch manager at Haart in Norwich, said: 'Prices went down by 20-25pc at their worst point. They are now definitely up by 10pc and are probably doing a lot better in some places.

'Supply and demand has a big role to play. Properties there are not too many of, such as character cottages, are selling for extremely good prices.

Most Read

'But for new builds, terraces and Victorian houses the market is very competitive compared to the start of the year. There is now so much choice.

'I think these figures are encouraging, but I think in terms of further growth it depends on what happens with mortgages and whether they become more available.'

Nick Eley, partner at Watsons in Norwich and chairman of the Norwich and District Association of Estate Agents, said that prices had gathered strength over the last year.

'In the city, a terrace house, something off Unthank Road, last year would have fetched something like �130,000-�140,000,' he said.

'We are now seeing prices of �170,000-�180,000 or even �185,000 - that is more like a 25pc increase.

'Something on the north side of the city was maybe �100,000 or �110,000 and we are now seeing more like �130,000.

'It is very much down to the type of property and the price band it is in.

'The most active part of the market is sub �250,000 - that is where properties are selling and there is good activity.'

But despite prices rising by a strong 1pc during April itself, economists have warned that the 10.5pc figure may be the 'high watermark' for house price inflation during 2010.

Recent survey evidence suggests that more properties are now coming on to the market, while buyer demand is showing signs of faltering.

Nationwide said it was unlikely that annual house price inflation would remain in double-digit territory during the coming months, adding that the latest figure had been boosted by the fact that April 2009 was a particularly weak month for house prices.

For the very best selection of homes to rent or buy log on to and click on Homes24 or see the Homes24 supplement in the Evening News every Thursday.