Estate agent Martin FitzJohn from FitzJohn Ingle reports more activity in the Peterborough housing market with prices moving up slightly, due to its particular location and demographic. Broadcast at 07:50 on Tuesday 20th July 2010 in the Peterborough Breakfast Show hosted by Paul Stainton on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
PAUL: Now is Peterborough bucking the trend when it comes to house prices? According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors a record number of new homes are coming onto the market. And Price Waterhouse Coopers said that house prices could remain below their peak levels for the next decade. But it’s not the case in Peterborough at the moment. Prices are on the rise. Martin FitzJohn is from estate agents FitzJohn Ingle in Peterborough. Morning Martin.
MARTIN: Morning Paul.
PAUL: We say they’re on the rise, they’re not exactly soaring are they?
MARTIN: No they’re not. Absolutely. But some stability in the market is definitely evident. Your remarks from the Royal Institute regarding new homes, we’d concur with that. A lot of the new housebuilders mothballed their sites several years ago, and on the basis that the demand and confidence is returning.they’re recommissioning those sites. So that’s bringing new properties to the marketplace.
PAUL: Right. Ok. So it’s bucking the trend in Peterborough, and for a very good reasons. We’ve also got quite a big influx of people, haven’t we? So there’s demand out there I suppose.
MARTIN: Yes. As I say the confidence and the demand is returning. Any marketplace follows on the confidence, and I think some of the big builders saw a couple of years ago that the sites weren’t viable. You can imagine the money they’ve got tied up in these projects. And a lot of the small builders in fact had their fundings either stopped or withdrawn on sites, so they weren’t able to continue with these small develeopments even if they wanted to, on the basis that the banks pulled the plus on their projects.
PAUL: Are more homes coming on to the market? Are people trying to sell their houses after the demise of HIPs?
MARK: Yes. I think that was good news for everybody really. The HIP mess was a complete waste of time. It was encouraged by a misguided government of the day. And that’s bringing speculative sellers back into the marketplace, which then kicks everything back in, because then that brings what-if buyers back into the marketplace, and then all of a sudden chains are re-established.
PAUL: What sort of price rises are we talking about at the moment? What sort of marking up are you doing at the moment?
MARK: Well depending on what you read and who’s written it they’re talking between a couple of per cent to maybe ten per cent over a twelve month period. And it’s very very difficult to gauge. But so far as Peterborough is concerned I would think you’re looking at a five per cent increase across the board as a rule of thumb.
PAUL:In the last what? In the last twelve months?
MARK: In the last twelve months. Yes.
PAUL: That’s quite good, isn’t it? So you’re not having to mark houses down to sell them anymore?
MARK: No. The average sale price will have fallen since the high of the market. That’s not questionable. But we’ve seen bounce back as everybody would have predicted several years ago.
PAUL: Are you still getting a lot of enquiries? Have you seen the footfall through the door improve as well?
MARK: Last week from a reporting business point of view was the busiest week we’ve had in years. We then went into the weekend and experienced our quietest period for years. So it’s really hard to gauge how things are going on a weekly basis. But over a month’s cycle definitely the enquiry levels have gone up.
PAUL: Price Waterhouse Coopers are saying that house prices could remain fairly stagnant for the next decade or so. Do you expect Peterborough to continue to keep bucking that trend?
MARK: Well I think anybody that’s foolish enough to predict what’s going to be going on in ten years time must really want looking at. Because nobody can do that. As far as Peterborough is concerned we’ve got a lovely city, a lot of people coming to that city, and they’ve all got to be housed, one way or another.
PAUL: Well it’s some good news anyway. So the pressure’s slightly off for the moment, and prices on the way up. Martin, thank you for that. Martin Fitzjohn from estate agents Fitzjohn Ingle in Peterborough who says house prices in Peterborough have gone up at least five per cent in the last twelve months. There’s more people coming through the doors, there’s more houses for sale.