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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Houses flatline in Cumbria after £4,300 drop in a year

House prices in Cumbria were unchanged last month, official figures show, but have fallen by £4,300 on average in the past year.

The Land Registry says the average price of homes sold in Cumbria in February was £120,498, almost unchanged from the adjusted figure of £120,501 for January.

But in February 2012 the average was £124,795, nearly £4,300 more than today.

Values have tumbled by 15.9 per cent per cent since the height of the property boom.

In late 2007 and early 2008, the typical Cumbrian home sold for more than £143,000 – £22,000 more than today.

Prices are back at a level last seen in the summer of 2005.

The number of homes changing hands continues to fall too.

An average of 506 were sold each month between September and November last year, compared with 555 a month in the same period of 2011.

But Richard Stronach, a director of H&H King estate agents in Carlisle, sees signs of life returning to the market, particularly since Christmas.

He said: “We are seeing more sales and more interest. I’ve been talking to a Penrith agent, and they’re saying the past six months have been the best for five years.

“There is more action out there and there are certainly more negotiations taking place. And are builders building, which they haven’t been doing, and some are building in larger numbers.

“That’s encouraging but the improvement isn’t right across the board. Banks are still loathe to lend money.”

Nationally, the Land Registry says, house prices increased by 0.2 per cent in February. The typical home in England and Wales sold for £162,606, 1.0 per cent more than a year ago.

However, the national figure masks a north-south divide. Prices rose by 6.3 per cent year-on-year in London and to a lesser extent in other parts of the South East and the East Midlands.

But prices fell across much of northern England, the West Midlands and the South West.

The steepest fall, 0.9 per cent, was in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

A typical home in London sells for £370,819 – more than three times the Cumbrian figure.

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