A much-heralded national house price rise has been dismissed by Accrington estate agents.
A survey from Britian’s biggest building society Nationwide showed an annual increase of 10.5 per cent in April.
But two of the borough’s estate agents say that’s certainly not the case in Hyndburn and they can’t see the housing market changing for another year or two.
Peter Richardson, of Richardson Estates, based in High Street, Rishton, says during his 24 years in the business he had never seen such a slump and that there was no immediate end to the housing gloom.
“The 10.5 per cent house price rise is utter rubbish as far as this area is concerned,” he told us.
“I mainly deal with properties in Rishton and Harwood and Rishton is pretty grim business-wise at the moment. I remember the last two recessions and once houses came back on the market they were being snapped up but there aren’t enough around at the moment.”
He also thinks the result of yesterday’s election will play a key role in reversing the housing market’s fortunes with the Conservatives vowing to scrap HIPs, Home Information Packs, which vendors are now legally required to set up.
“If the HIPs, which cost around £300, are scrapped I think people might start putting their houses back on the market,” he said.
“It’s certainly put a lot of people off, particularly those who are testing the market. I think it would give the market a big boost.”
Paul Fenna, sales negotiator with Mortimers, in Blackburn Road, Accrington, puts the stagnant market down to the lack of both the right kind of housing being put up for sale and first time buyers.
“We’ve not seen price rises in this area, in fact we’ve noticed a lull in sales since Easter,” said Mr Fenna.
“We’re selling a lot more in the Harwood area but prices haven’t increased there either. We’re not short of properties to sell but we’re not seeing as many investment properties and renovations, they tend to be repossessions. There’s a lack of first time buyers and chains.” He puts the average Accrington house price at around £90,000 compared with the average UK house price of £167,802.