House prices on the increase

HOUSE prices in Comet country look set to rise again over the coming year. Figures out this week from the Land Registry reveal properties in Stevenage, North Herts and Mid Beds showed healthy increases in value during the past 12 months. Top rises were in

HOUSE prices in Comet country look set to rise again over the coming year.

Figures out this week from the Land Registry reveal properties in Stevenage, North Herts and Mid Beds showed healthy increases in value during the past 12 months.

Top rises were in Stevenage which averaged 8.2 per cent followed by North Herts on 7.7 per cent with Mid Beds on 2.9 per cent.

Highest prices for property are being paid in North Herts with the average cost of a detached house being £435,634 compared to Mid Beds £321,938 and £291,520 in Stevenage.


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A semi-detached property in the three areas in the same order would be £242,851, £199,041 and £208,159. Terraced houses average out at £197,438, £168,666 and £160,321 with flats priced at £161,448, £137,518 and £132,934.

House price rises in Comet country reflect the Land Registry figures for East Anglia which show the biggest average increases in the UK at eight per cent.

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But with house prices predicted to rise by up to 15 per cent in the coming year it is not good news for first time buyers.

Estate agents were unanimous in their assessments that house prices would rise with so few houses coming on the market.

David Golding, a director of Chandlers in Stevenage, said: "There is a shortage of properties in Stevenage which means prices are creeping up.

"There is a healthy growth in the town and sales are going well. Stevenage is a popular location and well within the commuter belt."

At Kempsons in Shefford, Tony Frith said: "There is a gentle trend for prices going upwards but there is a shortage of houses coming on to the markets. The housing market in the area is pretty good."

Predictions of house prices going up as much as 15 per cent were not supported by Acorn Estate Agents in Biggleswade where a member of staff said: "Predicted rises on that scale are awfully ambitious but houses are going for their asking prices. But any large rises would put a terrible strain on the bottom rung of the property ladder for first time buyers."

At Stimpsons in Letchworth GC a spokesman said: "The market is strong at the moment and we believe it will stay that way with prices continuing to rise. It will be a hard time for first time buyers but Letchworth is in the commuter belt for London and will continue to attract people who want quality homes in a nice town.

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