Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bricks and Mortar Still Popular Choice

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bricks and Mortar Still Popular Choice

Article excerpt

Byline: Vicky Robson

BRICKS and mortar remain popular with investors, a new survey shows. It reveals that home owners are keeping the faith that house prices will hold steady despite uncertain economic times.

Rightmove's consumer price forecast found 63% of prospective home movers felt prices would remain the same or rise, with less than a third (31%) expecting prices to drop next year.

North East estate agents say it comes down to the demand and availability of properties - and the sustained ambition of owning a home of one's own.

Jayne Dehaty, managing partner of Reeds Rains in Gosforth, Newcastle, says: "Certainly in Gosforth, I believe the prices will stay the same. I don't think they will drop. But it's all to do with availability and demand.

"Over the past month we have still had people fighting over certain properties and bidding above the asking price.

"But if you have a choice on an estate of about five or six houses, which are all relatively the same, then people are going to go for the cheapest. So it depends on the area. And there's plenty of people who would prefer to see bricks and mortar than a bank statement."

While transactions have been "sluggish" since the financial crisis started, with mortgage lenders and potential buyers exercising caution, the survey suggests people still believe property is a good financial investment. Your Move's Chris Stonock said: "I think it's partly about where we are with the market now, compared to 2008, when people were generally frightened of making any sort of purchase for a house. We are now at a stage where, if first-time buyers can get a deposit together, they will buy a house because they would prefer to own their own home, rather than rent. The powerful driver is ownership, especially for first-time buyers.

"Yes, they are buying into a falling market, but people have taken the view that house prices will recover when the market does. …

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