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Saturday, 20 September 2014

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Cumbria house prices rose in September

House prices in Cumbria increased in September for only the third time this year.

Official figures from the Land Registry show that the average price of homes sold was £121,694, up 0.3 per cent from an adjusted figure of £121,276 for August.

Despite the increase, prices have fallen by 4.1 per cent over the past year, wiping more than £5,000 off the value of a typical home.

Cumbria’s housing market peaked in late 2007 and early 2008. The average home then sold for just under £144,000, £22,000 more than today.

Prices have fallen back to the level they were at in autumn 2005.

There was also a drop in the number of properties changing hands.

An average of 506 sold each month, between May and July, compared with 523 a month in the same period of 2011.

Estate agent Adrian Hogarth, of Cumbrian Properties, is optimistic that the market will improve in 2013.

He said: “In the long-term, house prices will go up again.

“But the days of 2004 and 2005 when you could buy a property then sell it six months later for a profit have gone for ever.

“We are back to a normal market now.

“It doesn’t surprise me that the number of sales is down. There is a lack of confidence.

“I would like to think that by next year things will have improved.

“ We are told the country has come out of recession so buyers should be more positive.”

He added: “The main thing holding the market back is the lack of 90 and 95 per cent mortgages for first-time buyers.”

Mr Hogarth would like to see the Government help first-time buyers to purchase secondhand properties.

He says that incentives, such as the FirstBuy scheme, are aimed at new-build developments.

Nationally, house prices fell by 0.3 per cent last month.

The average home in England and Wales sold for £162,561, 1.1 per cent more than a year ago.

However, the national figures mask a widening north-south divide.

Prices rose by 5.5 per cent year-on-year in Greater London, while they fell in the Midlands, parts of the north and Wales.

The average price of a home in London is £363,802 – three times the figure for Cumbria.

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