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Yarmouth housing market hardens

PUBLISHED: 17:28 13 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:43 03 July 2010

Home front: House prices have hardened in the last few months.

Home front: House prices have hardened in the last few months.

AFTER being rocked by recession, the Great Yarmouth housing market finally appears to be on a firmer foundation.

House prices have hardened in the last few months after falling around 20pc from the peak two years ago.

AFTER being rocked by recession, the Great Yarmouth housing market finally appears to be on a firmer foundation.

House prices have hardened in the last few months after falling around 20pc from the peak two years ago.

Now, the town's estate agents are reporting increased interest from buyers and a shortage of homes on the market.

Property values have been underpinned by regeneration projects in Yarmouth and the much-heralded opening of the outer harbour.

Aldreds director Mark Duffield has seen the housing market go through boom and bust during his 36 years as an estate agent.

He said: “My view of the world is if you are minded to move now is the time to do it.

“Properties are selling relatively easily, if there is no chain, and big new houses are on the market at a price you won't see again.

“There is a shortage of land for housing development and a lot of pent- up demand, particularly in the outlying villages. The sticking point is mortgage supply - until credit supply is unlocked you cannot have a buoyant market.

“We have got a better market than the very depressed one last year, but mortgage approvals are still half what they were before the credit crunch.

“Investment in the town has all helped stabilise property values. There has been a smaller drop than in other parts of the county.”

Mr Duffield said Yarmouth had also been cushioned from a bigger price falls because, unlike Norwich, there is not an over-supply of new flats and apartments.

Prices at the top end of the market are still higher in Norwich, but there was less difference lower down the property ladder.

Rock bottom interest rates has also stabilised prices and boosted interest in property investment.

“The buy to let market is being underpinned by low saving rates; investors see rental income providing a better return,” said Mr Duffield. “The worry is that interest rates could increase again and rising unemploy-ment is also affecting confidence. But overall there is reason to be optimistic.”

Steven Huxley, office manager of Gorleston based Property People, was also confident the green shoots of recovery were emerging.

He said: “The signs are the market is picking up after a very tough year and a half. A lot of people are thinking the market has bottomed out and prices are more realistic.”

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