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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Cautious optimism in Cumbria's housing market

House prices have steadied in 2012 after falling for most of last year.

The Land Registry says the average price of homes sold in Carlisle and othe parts of Cumbria April was £125,501, almost exactly the same as its revised figure of £125,496 for March.

The latest statistics mean that valuations have risen or held steady in each month of 2012 so far, although they remain 3.3 per cent lower than a year ago when the average was £129,732.

And prices have fallen by 12.8 per cent since the county’s housing market peaked in late 2007 and early 2008.

The typical home then sold for £143,850, £18,000 more than today.

The Land Registry also reports a small increase in the number of properties sold.

An average of 440 a month changed hands in Cumbria between December and February.

That compares with 405 a month in the same period of 2010-11.

Adrian Tod, a partner in the Carlisle estate agent Hayward Tod Associates, is cautiously optimistic about the prospects for the rest of 2012.

He said: “We have had four years of very difficult trading but we are now noticing an increase in the number of enquiries from would-be buyers.

“Prices aren’t rising but we are selling more houses.”

He added: “There has been a turnaround in confidence. Buyers believe we are at the bottom while in previous years they were cautious that the market had further falls in it.”

The Land Registry records all property transactions in England and Wales.

Nationally, prices fell by 0.3 per cent in April.

The average home was worth £160,417, 1.0 per cent less than a year ago.

The figures show a widening gulf between London and the rest of the country.

Prices rose by 5.1 per cent in Greater London but by only 0.4 or 0.5 per cent in other parts of southern England while prices fell in the Midlands, the North and Wales.

The steepest fall, 5.6 per cent, was in the Yorkshire and Humber region. The typical home in London sells for £360,721, which is more than twice the national average.

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