House prices in Essex and Herts on the rise

AN ESTATE agent claims that there appears to be a resurgence of interest in local properties at the top end of the market, despite signs of a falling off in house prices nationally.

William Wells from Uttlesford agents Mullucks Wells says that there are indications that prestigious homes in east Hertfordshire and west Essex are starting to sell again at or near asking prices – including those that have been lingering on the market for many months.

He said: “There’s no doubt that the past year or so has been a difficult time for anyone selling homes above �700,000.

“However, in the past couple of weeks we have noticed a significant increase in the number of quality offers and the amount of interest in more exclusive homes in the region.

“For example, one house on our books at �1.195m has had seven viewings in the last two and a half weeks, which is more than there have been in the last two and a half months. The property is now under offer at close to the asking price, to a buyer with nothing to sell.

“Similarly, a local �1.45m home is now under offer at the asking price; a house on the market at �975,000 has had renewed interest in the last two weeks leading to a sale being agreed, and a house priced at �845,000 which has been on the market for over three months, is now under offer at a figure in excess of �800,000. And these are far from being isolated examples.”

Mr Wells puts this recent resurgence down to the ability of the region to withstand the worst forces of the recession and to be one of the first to recover as economic conditions improve. He added: “If this area is bucking the trend, it’s because of its unbeatable access to transport facilities, excellent schools and beautiful countryside.

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“There’s a real danger that some of the more pessimistic pundits out there make fears of a double dip recession a self-fulfilling prophecy – but in fact, with many businesses running leaner than ever before, there’s a very good chance that strong profit margins are on the horizon.

“The laws of supply and demand mean that in three or four years time, we could see an appreciable increase in the top third of the market as buyers return in reasonable numbers and find that they are in competition with others. With that in mind, this could be the perfect time to buy and sell property.”