Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hi-End Homes Selling Well in Strong Market

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hi-End Homes Selling Well in Strong Market

Article excerpt

Byline: Vicky Robson

AN increase in the number of house sales at the higher end of the North East's property market suggests confidence and stability has returned to the region, according to estate agents.

More properties selling for more than PS500,000 along with luxury homes of more than PS1m could be the clearest indicator yet that the market is on the road to recovery, regional experts say.

Duncan Young, of Sanderson Young, explains: "It's down to market confidence. Businesses are doing better and making more profit and people are selling their businesses so they have more money. Managing directors and chief executives may have done well over the past few years but didn't have the confidence to buy a property. Now they do.

"Interest rates are going to stay low and house prices are rising, so if you can afford it and business is doing well, now is the right time to buy a house. The increase in house prices in the region are nowhere near the national trend, but some places are seeing rises of 5%, so there's never been a better time to buy a house, especially one priced over PS1m.

"There are some bargains out there to be had and they will look cheap in a few years time. For example, we have two properties, one at Stamfordham on sale at PS1.4m, down to PS1m if you exchange contracts in the summer, and in Corbridge for PS3m, down to PS1,999,000 for an immediate sale."

Similarly, Stephen McOwan, partner of Smiths Gore in Corbridge, has found that while the market for properties priced over PS500,000 has been "very patchy" over the past few years, conditions have dramatically improved and sales in this bracket are increasing.

It comes after the latest monthly survey by Nationwide revealed that annual price inflation is now running at 11.1% - its highest level since June 2007.

Mr McOwan says: "There is confidence now that prices have stabalised and any price movement is likely to be up, so that's a big focus for buyers at the moment. …

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