Thursday, April 22, 2021
UK

Fresh boost for FTBs as prices tumble

prices tumble

Average prices of properties have dropped by nearly 3.5% as the buy-to-let market collapsed

First-time buyers in Northampton could find a bargain as prices of flats and maisonettes tumble in the town.

Average prices have dropped by nearly 3.5 per cent in the last 12 months as the buy-to-let market collapsed.

And local estate agents believe the prospect of further falls as more town centre properties are converted into residential space should not put off anyone thinking about buying now.

Nick Rees, director of Jackson Grundy, said: There are opportunities out there for people who want to own their own home with a healthy deposit and squeaky-clean credit score. It can be quite difficult to get a mortgage for first-time buyers but don’t be put off because now could be as good a time as any.

He said, interest rates are at an all-time low and if you can get a two or five-year fixed rate mortgage then you will have the reassurance of knowing exactly what you will be paying. The key is having a good deposit and if you can scrape together 15 per cent plus then you are in a really good position and could pick up a bargain.

The average price of a flats or maisonette in Northampton was £128,936 in June 2019 according to Land Registry data but fell to £125,874 in May this year and then by almost one per cent in June to £124,725.

Overall, average house prices in the Borough rose by 0.7 per cent in 12 months to June and by 4.5 per cent across the East Midlands.

Mr Rees admits the number of former retail outlets being converted into residential space in the town centre is likely to have an effect on future prices.

Market Walk in the town centre has also been earmarked for conversion into student accommodation.

Mr Rees added: The number of flats available is obviously going to affect prices and already we are seeing the buy-to-let market is not what it was two or three years ago as investors are selling off portfolios.

Another factor driving prices is I think lockdown taught a lot of people that open space — a garden — is important, he said. But we are still 35 per cent up in sales post-lockdown compared to before March so clearly people are still keen to move.

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