ESTATE agents have welcomed the news that house prices are steadily going up.
Prices in the year to June rose by 3.1 per cent, the Office for National Statistics said, up from 2.9 per cent in May.
Neil Hawkins is secretary of the Portsmouth Property Association.
He said: ‘It’s good news. It reflects what’s happening in the marketplace.
‘We have been talking to our members and we’re seeing increased levels of confidence and increased levels of business.
‘The message that’s coming back is that if properties are relatively well priced they are finding buyers. A lot of it comes down to confidence. People have the confidence now to make a commitment.’
And Mr Hawkins said this is good news for first-time buyers.
‘There are some positive signs. We still need lenders to take a more pro-active approach to first-time buyers to get them on the property ladder.
‘Salaries are struggling to keep up with the levels needed to start on the property ladder. There have been some good signs of positive feeling amongst buyers.
‘People are encouraged to purchase but we need properties to look at.
‘The message is – if you are thinking of selling, now is a good time to get your property on the market.’
Clive Bryant, director at Chapplins estate agents in Fareham, said: ‘It’s expected. We have been seeing a steady increase in demand throughout the year.’
Steve Sprake, director at Pearsons estate agents in Southsea, said: ‘Any good news is good for the market because people see the headlines and read the articles and are very upbeat.
‘This period now with the seasonal trends can be a very quiet time for us.
‘But this year it just carried on. This news will just give the market a little boost to keep things going.
‘The pace of the market now and the conditions for buying and selling are perfect.’