Livewire - August 16, 2013

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By Jacqui Morley

The housing market is back on the up and up, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The RICS latest survey suggests the “UK housing market appears to have finally turned a corner” and that the North West is becoming one of the healthiest regions for house sales.

But with a wealth of property on the books of estate agents across the Fylde how does it measure up locally?

One estate agent, who asks not to be named, agrees with the survey’s findings. “It’s a cautious recovery but a recovery nonetheless,” he says. “For a while the market hit a plateau. It’s picking up nicely now. The entry level market - first time buyers under £100k - are becoming more optimistic and it’s reflected in the inquiries turning into firm sales for us.”

Outside a branch office of another estate agency newlyweds Rebecca and Robert Rawlings were checking out properties at between £110k-£150k. “We’ve both got good jobs and a fair bit of stability in our finances,” says Robert, an engineer.

“We need to get out of our folks’ home. We’ve been living with Beccy’s parents since we married three months ago and to be honest it’s no way to start married life. They’re great, they give us space and privacy but it’s not our own place.”

The couple lived together for six months in a one bedroom apartment at North Shore before making the decision to marry - and move.

“It was dead money,” adds Rebecca, 26, a store manager for a leading retail chain.

“We tried saving but it never came to much. And flats gobble up the cash particularly if you’ve got meters to feed. We thought of renting a house but the huge bond put us off and the rent was pretty high for what was quite a grotty part of Blackpool.”

Kim Baker, 41 and newly divorced, is also looking for a house in Blackpool.

“I’m from Lancaster and want to start afresh. I want to be closer to my parents who live in St Annes. They’re going to help me out with the deposit on a house. I was paying a mortgage with my ex but it’s negative equity - not much to show for 15 years of marriage.”

* to contribute to Live Wire contact Jacqui Morley