Confidence returns to “buoyant” property market

Estate agent 'For Sale' signs in Stamford
Estate agent 'For Sale' signs in Stamford

More homes are being bought and sold in the Stamford and Rutland areas where the “buoyant” property market has been the most active since 2007.

In Stamford, especially, the right kind or property just “flies out the window”.

Simon Burton, sales director for the town’s Goodwin estate agents said that was partly because of Stamford being named the best place to live in Britain by the Sunday Times.

“Since the second week of April it just started to go boom,” he said.

“It is a combination of factors: the interest in the town, the Government’s help to buy scheme which has created confidence in the market and the good weather.”

In April a Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme allowed first time buyers, with a 5 per cent deposit, to borrow an extra 20 per cent of the purchase price from the Government, interest-free for the first five years, to buy a new-build house worth up to £600,000.

South Kesteven District Council provides similar help in partnership with Lloyds TSB. Local Lend a Hand offers the district’s first time buyers, with a 5 per cent deposit, up to 20 per cent cash backed indemnity from SKDC for up to £147,250 on new and older properties.

Vernon Moore, owner of Moores, which has branches across the region including Rutland and Uppingham, said: “The market for properties priced between £150,000 and £500,000 is most buoyant.

“As more people are able to get mortgages they are choosing to buy homes and come out of rental properties. Vendors choosing to price houses sensibly has also helped. The buyer confidence has returned.”

Tom Wallis, sales negotiator for Kinght Partners, Stamford, said the last six months were “very good indeed”.

People have become less nervous about investing in property, he said. “There’s a lot of confidence in the long-term prospects,” he added. “We are not seeing any significant increase in prices, but the volume of sales has increased.

“The real problem in Stamford is a lack of properties to sell.”

Paul Mound, associate partner at Murray, which has branches in Stamford, Oakham and Uppingham, said market activity had been at its highest level since 2007.

He said: “An increasing number of sales have been tied up much closer to the asking price than in the recent past. Whilst prices have edged up slightly, there has been no dramatic change, largely because most people’s incomes have remained static. As always, the key to success is accurate pricing.”

Darren Christie from the Stamford branch Fine and Country, which deals with more expensive houses, described the last eight weeks as “phenomenal”. He said: “Anything now that is coming on to the market is selling quickly.

“Enquiries have picked up as have viewings and sales.”

In January next year a second phase of the Government’s Help to Buy will see a Mortgage Guarantee scheme available to first time and existing home owners. It will be available for new build as well as older houses.

Estate agents are confident that will further boost the property market in the area where the majority of properties are older ones.