Sunderland housing market ‘still flat’ North East despite property upturn

Estate agents sale boards on Eglimgton Street North, Monkwearmouth.
Estate agents sale boards on Eglimgton Street North, Monkwearmouth.
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SUNDERLAND’S housing market is still flat despite an upturn across the region, says a city estate agent.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said the number of house sales in the region had risen for four consecutive months.

But Christine Craggs, manager of Dowen’s estate agent office in Sunderland, said the market upturn had not yet reached Wearside.

“We are still pretty static,” she said.

“There are not a lot of new properties coming on to the market, and those which are selling are doing so at a competitive price, you have got to be realistic about it.”

The flat market was due to a combination of homeowners waiting for an upturn and a lack of new people getting on the property ladder.

“New buyers are finding that unless they have a significant deposit, they may not be able to get a mortgage,” said Christine.

Buyers were still out there, even for properties at the top end of the market, but were increasingly value-conscious.

“I have just had a cash property go for £275,000, so there are people out there with money,” she said.

“It’s just a case of finding them.

“People are being very, very choosy about what they are buying and want to know about things like carpets and decor, because they don’t want to worry about that extra outlay.”

Across the region, demand has held firm since the start of the new year, but North-East chartered surveyors are pessimistic over future prices, with falls expected during the coming three months. Rics spokesman Paul McSkimmings said the North-East housing market was holding up reasonably well, despite the rain and snow of the last few weeks.

However, there were still problems with would-be buyers getting their hands on the money needed to get on to the region’s property ladder.

“The recent poor weather does not appear to have stopped buyers proceeding with their purchases and I would expect the number of transactions to be at a similar volume to last year,” he said.

“However, lack of mortgage finance continues to be an issue.”

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