House market set to take off, says property expert
THE housing market is set to take off in Plymouth later this year, says a property expert.
But hopes that prices could pass their 2007 peak by next year are premature, according to Stags partner Roger Punch, the South West spokesman for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The Centre for Economics and Business Research is forecasting a 0.8per cent increase in UK house prices this year.
And its report says the average home value is expected to reach £223,000 in 2014, surpassing the 2007 pre-crisis peak for the first time.
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Mr Punch said yesterday: "We've had quite a few upbeat thoughts flying around and I would agree with those.
"But as for reaching 2006-07 levels, that would mean an increase of at least 10per cent, and I can't see that happening in the next year.
"Confidence is creeping back and that will encourage people to put their properties on the market.
"But the increase in supply will counteract the effect of price rises."
He said it was a good time to buy. "We are experiencing a much better market now than we were a year ago.
"Our viewing rate is will up and heading for double what it was last year. That's the start of a positive move and certainly there is a little bit more availability of mortgage finance. It's quite possible we will see prices climb later this year.
"Certain types of property and locations perform better than others." Mr Punch said the housing market was a barometer of the economy.
"If people feel confident they will embark on selling and buying.
"When things are gloomy they tend to back off."