Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Positive Look to House Market

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Positive Look to House Market

Article excerpt

Byline: By Karen Wilson

North-East house prices showed another robust rise in the three months to April in stark contrast to falls in the south of England.

A total of 62pc of surveyors in the region reported a rise in prices, with 38pc saying prices remained static, according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) survey. None reported falls.

On the negative side, RICS said buyer inquiries and new instructions both fell in April despite being strong in the first three months of the year.

RICS North-East housing spokesman Mike Abel said: "The housing market across the region looks positive and we expect this to continue through the summer and into the autumn.

"Despite the downturn in the London market we have seen little or no tail-off in activity in the North-East.

"The market is not as frantic as it was in September to November last year but sales are still up and good quality houses are under offer in weeks, if not days. A new realism is dictating the market and providing properties are realistically priced they will continue to sell."

However, in contrast to the RICS report, local estate agents say prices are levelling off and there has been an influx of new instructions giving buyers more choice.

Andrew Lawson of Andrew Lawson Estate Agents in Jesmond said: "Last year was a year of adjustment to the low interest rates with lots of buyers re-investing from the money markets. So 2003 hasn't been quite so frenetic, although prices are still rising steadily." He said that particular properties of note include several Victorian conversion apartments on the market in Jesmond from pounds 175,000 to pounds 200,000, which means buyers have more choice. "These are taking around six or seven weeks to sell, as opposed to the usual two or three weeks," he said. …

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