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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Building boom not such good news for sellers

The hundreds of new homes planned for Carlisle and Wigton will be good news for jobs and house-hunters – but may make life more difficult for some sellers.

Persimmon Homes Lancashire plans to build 253 new homes near The Beeches in Wigton while Story Homes will be building 184 at the Crindledyke site in north Carlisle.

The two schemes are expected to create 100 construction jobs.

But local estate agents point out that it is a mixed blessing for the local property market.

Peter Hayward, co-director of Hayward Tod, says the jobs are good news and the building of new houses for sale will meet a definite need.

“There’s always an argument that there’s a shortfall of houses,” he says. “We live on a small island and everyone has to find somewhere to live. There’s still an obvious appetite for owning your home.”

But he warns that it might not be welcome news for those hoping to sell their houses.

Anyone planning to move up the ladder, and become a second or third-time buyer, may find their present home sells less quickly if brand new ones come on the market.

Buyers offered a choice between a new house and an already occupied one might believe – rightly or wrongly – that a new one was a better bet and won’t be in need of improvements.

“It’s always seen as good news when houses are being built, but it may have its downside for some people. As far as sellers are concerned it may be harder to compete.

“People are impressed by new build. There is the perception of brand new gardens, carpets, bathrooms and kitchens. On a house that is 40 years old or more the upgrading will have been done in stages, so some parts will inevitably be older than others.”

Richard Stronach, managing director of H&H King, agrees. “For some first-time buyers new houses are a nice option. And names like Persimmon and Story will be an attraction for some people. So it might have an initial effect on the local market. But there is only a certain percentage of people who want to live in a new house. Infrastructure, bus services or the catchment areas for schools are also factors.”

And he adds: “Whether the banks are willing to lend will be the crux as to whether these new properties sell.”

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