Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sales Increase across the Market

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sales Increase across the Market

Article excerpt

Byline: Karen Wilson

SALES at both the upper and lower end of the housing market are picking up as spring approaches, according to North East estate agents.

Chris Warren, senior branch manager of Your Move Chris Stonock in Low Fell, Gateshead, says year-onyear sales have increased, particularly at the lower end of the price bracket and the buy-to-let market, while Sanderson Young has agreed two sales between pounds 1.5 to pounds 2m in the past fortnight.

"It's a clear indication that things are improving if people in the higher price brackets are committing," said Duncan Young, a director of Sanderson Young. He added that the firm had sold five pounds 1m-plus homes in Darras Hall so far this year, compared to seven in the last three to four years in that price bracket.

"It's been the best start to the year we've had for five years," he said.

Mr Young said numbers of viewings were 30-40% higher year-onyear, while sales in January were up 27% and for February up 19%.

However, he does admit that prices have "flatlined" with most properties selling at 2004 prices. "Unfortunately there are some vendors on the market at prices they wanted a year ago, and they won't sell until they bring their prices down," he said.

"Prices might stay still for a couple more years yet, but I don't see falls unless something happens beyond our control in terms of oil or worldwide disaster."

Mr Young says several properties have sold recently at and above the asking price in Jesmond, High West Jesmond, Gosforth, Fenham and Alnwick. However, he says this is due to realistic pricing.

"If you want to move, make your asking price as sensible as possible," he said. "People building in a 10 to 15% reduction in the asking price are just not getting the viewings."

Chris Warren believes vendors are now motivated by finding a longterm home rather than an investment. And he says viewing numbers are up in 2011 which is resulting in more sales.

"It's still very much a double-edged sword," he said. "The property market is moving because vendors are being realistic about prices, so that means house prices in general are on the decline. …

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