Hips scrapping leads to house sale boom

There was an air of optimism among estate agents in Norwich amid reports of rising instructions and steady sales.

There was an air of optimism among estate agents in Norwich amid reports of rising instructions and steady sales.

It comes as a property activity index revealed there had been a significant increase in housing activity in East Anglia last month with the number of properties put up for sale at the highest level seen for more than two years.

But despite the sunny weather outside it was not all bright news as it emerged that house prices fell nationally for the second month in a row in May.

The average cost of a UK home dropped by 0.4pc during the month, following a 0.1pc dip in April, according to Halifax.


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There were differing views about the impact of the scrapping of the controversial Home Information Packs (HIPs) on the market in Norfolk, but most of the estate agents the Evening News spoke to did report an increase in instructions.

And they were quick to shrug off concerns about any capital gains tax increases leading to a surge of homes for sale.

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Ian Harris, associate with Watsons in Norwich and secretary of the Norfolk branch of the National Association of Estate Agents, said the scrapping of HIPs had not, as some had feared, led to an over supply of homes. He added that he did not foresee any major impact on the market caused by any increase in capital gains tax.

'Investors have weathered the storm,' he said. 'They have seen their property values drop by a third and then bounce back again. They have seen interest rates all over the place. I think they will stick with it.'

Giles Hart, senior area director for William H Brown in Norwich, said that instructions were up 32pc this May compared to May 2009.

He said: 'I do not think HIPs or capital gains tax are going to be big events in the market place. There is more confidence generally.'

But David Potter, of Norwich-based Potter and Co estate agents, had a more sombre view of the market. 'It seems to be rather quiet,' he said. 'We have come to a sort of limbo - everyone is hanging on.'

The latest Agency Express property activity index shows that in East Anglia as a whole the number of properties put up for sale in May was the highest level seen for more than two years and saw a monthly increase of 12.2pc.

But while the number of properties put on the market in Norwich rose by 7.7pc, monthly house sales in the city shrunk by 5.6pc, according to Agency Express.

For the best selection of homes to rent or buy log on to www.eveningnews24.co.uk and click on Homes24 or see the Homes24 supplement in the Evening News every Thursday

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