South West Business: Housing market across Bristol "has turned a corner"
Tue 13 Aug 2013
The housing market in the Bristol area is showing marked signs of recovery, according to one of the leading industry organisations. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors made its optimistic assessment on the same day that the Office of National Statistics released it house price index figures.
Both organisations say Government policies aimed at giving the property market a helping hand are starting to bear fruit. According to surveyors the housing market in Bristol appears to have finally turned to a corner. As well as rising prices there is also evidence that more people are putting their properties on the market. The survey covers the last month and found that the amount of potential buyers looking to enter the market rose by more than a third, at around 36 per cent. Alongside the increase in buyer confidence, potential sellers are looking to test the market and place their homes up for sale. Last month, 40 per cent more surveyors in the area reported rises rather than falls in new instructions.
Since the start of the year, buyers have gradually been returning to the market across the country - thanks in no small part, it is claimed, to government finance initiatives. Roger Punch, RICS residential spokesperson for the region, works for estate agents Stags. He said: "We are seeing the recovery in the housing market continue. "The renewed confidence in the market has brought a rise in sellers coming to the market, with new buyer enquiries being matched by supply, and house prices in some parts of the region are expected to continue to rise. "With the number of surveyors predicting price increases at the highest level since December 2009, the various initiatives designed to encourage potential buyers into the market are clearly paying dividends and it is important that the government continues to support the delivery of low-cost and new housing available to the market."
Bristol property firm PG Group said there had been a marked upturn in the Bristol market. The firm has acquired a derelict building in New Street, St Jude's, which began its life as a Quaker home for city weavers back in the 17th century and was previously owned by Bristol City Council. The firm is working on converting the building, near Cabot Circus, into 17 new flats. Development director Stuart Gaiger said the company was greatly heartened by the way the Bristol property market was improving. "I would hope to see more schemes like this, helping the city's economy and creating vital new housing," he said. "Portland Square is of major historical importance and the work we are doing there will certainly enhance its appearance and help breathe more new life into this inner city area."
Peter Rollings, from estate agents Marsh & Parsons, said: "Prices are increasing across the UK overall. "Government initiatives such as Funding for Lending and Help to Buy are fuelling the fire and creating strong demand both from home and abroad. "Now buyers also have the added security of interest rates being kept at a record low, making mortgages more affordable and which will surely lead to greater demand and activity in both the resale and first-time buyer market."