Long wait for sale of homes

Pic to illustrate the depressed housing market in Blackpool.'For Sale signs on Talbot Road in Layton. PIC BY ROB LOCK'30-5-2011

Pic to illustrate the depressed housing market in Blackpool.'For Sale signs on Talbot Road in Layton. PIC BY ROB LOCK'30-5-2011

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NEW figures have highlighted the struggle facing estate agents when selling properties on the Fylde coast.

Property analyst Hometrack suggests the resort’s homes spend an average of four months on the property market – the joint longest period in the country.

The property report comes as a stark contrast to some areas of the country, including Canterbury, Guildford and Bath, where homes spend only one month on the market once put up for sale.

However, Justin Allitt, owner of Allitts Estate Agents, says some areas in the Fylde will massively outperform others in 2012.

He told The Gazette: “There’s no doubt we have got a lot of good affordable property, but the Government and the banks are making it difficult to get access to the finance, so first time buyers and those waiting to get on the property ladder have to go to south Fylde where it’s easier to get finance to buy property. Selling a home is still robust and there’s still purchases, but they are now looking for a better property.

“Anything of quality does sell, and the key to it is to keep the property well presented and put it on at a realistic asking price.”

Mr Allitt also claims properties will sell quicker than the four months average time found by Hometrack’s research.

He added: “In terms of turnaround time, I have had a property on Sandhurst Avenue, St Annes, which sold within a week and exceeded asking price.

“Depending on the location on the Fylde coast there will be a lot of pressure on finance, but property will always sell at a realistic asking price.”

House prices throughout the country fell in nearly 80 per cent of postcodes across England and Wales this year.

However, as the eurozone crisis unfolded and the gloomy economic situation increased, the demand for new buyers decreased and the second half of 2011 saw a decline in the amount of sellers putting their homes on the market.

John Norris, principal at the Mortgage Shop on Topping Street, Blackpool, said: “There will be a gradual recovery in the housing market, but it’s dependant on grants because the lack of available finance is the biggest barrier.

“I would advise seeking advice from a broker who deals with the whole of the housing market and is fully licensed. Mortgage rates are quite consistent, but we would tell anyone to fix their mortgage because rates will increase.”

Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, added: “The fortunes of the housing market are directly linked to the wider economy and looking ahead to 2012 the expectation is growth will remain sluggish, unemployment will continue to rise and household incomes will remain under pressure.”