Housing market moving at last

Is the market on the move?
Is the market on the move?
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HARTLEPOOL is bucking the gloomy national trend in the housing market with demand in town on the up.

Experts say the country’s property market shows no sign of picking up any time soon.

But 2012 has got off to a busy start for Hartlepool estate agents, with more potential buyers coming through their doors and homes going on the market. And they are calling on the Government to do more to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder.

Sharon Richardson, branch manager for Manners & Harrison, in York Road, said: “We’ve seen a lot more activity in the local market recently and I expect this will continue throughout 2012.

“Although prices may remain flat or even decline this year, there is pent-up demand to move home across all property types and price brackets fuelled by motivated sellers and greater choice in the mortgage market.”

Kay Rhodes, manager for Reeds Rains estate agent at Throston, in Hartlepool, said: “Confidence is definitely growing regardless of what the national media say and I’m very pleased.

“Since we opened in July last year the market is growing rapidly.”

The estate agent had 16 viewings on Monday alone.

House prices across town are reported to have fallen by around five per cent in the last year.

Agents hope they will level out as the year goes on, but admit clients have to be “realistic” when considering a move.

Miss Rhodes, a member of the National Association of Estate Agents, added: “Hopefully this year prices will level out and not continue to drop.

“It would be nice to see more first time buyers and the Government to help them out so they can afford to buy.

“The rental market is very buoyant and I would like to see more people being able to get on the ladder.”

Sue Campbell, office manager at Ron Greig estate agents in South Road, Hartlepool, said: “Things are starting to move, albeit very slowly.

“It’s not going to recover overnight, but more people are starting to take the plunge and putting their property on the market. The lower end of the market is getting better with offers coming in.

“It was very sluggish, but now there is movement which is encouraging and has a knock-on effect with the higher end of the market.”

“I’m hoping it is going to improve and we have a better year than last year, which was very difficult.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says surveyors expect the level of sales nationally to stay unchanged in the next three months.

The average house price for Hartlepool is £119,250 compared to £160,780 nationally, according to the Land Registry of England and Wales.

Check out today’s Hartlepool Mail for 12 pages of homes or visit Property Today