Following its 2001 Housing Market Review, Bradford & Bingley (B&B) is expecting house prices to increase by 3-5% during 2002 and dismisses a predicted slump as ‘premature’.
Peter Barrett, managing director at The MarketPlace at B&B, said: ‘We are confident that we will not see a widespread falling back of value. In fact, with sellers remaining realistic about asking prices, our view is that it remains a good time to enter the housing market.’
Predicted housing hotspots for 2002 were outlined in the review. The West Country is set to flourish following the creation of the Eden project alongside Southsea near to Portsmouth, which is set to benefit from several major property developments targeting the retired. Additional areas set to grow include Chester, North Wales, Ely and Darlington in the North East.
The review also showed there was a significant increase in the number of investors entering the buy-to-let market as an alternative to investing in the stock market. Rather than being dominated by desirable locations, up and coming areas for the buy-to-let market were centred around employment opportunities.
The 2001 review highlighted Basildon, Brighton, Hove and the M4 corridor up to Oxford as buy-to-let hotspots.
Findings of the B&B 2001 Housing Market Review
• At the start of the year it took on average 10 weeks to sell a home, by November it had fallen to eight weeks.
• At the start of the year there were eight buyers for every home for sale, this fell to six by the end of the year.
• The percentage of asking price achieved increased to 97% in November.
• On average, people viewed properties 10 times before deciding to buy.
• The number of first time buyers increases by 5% year on year.