Housing shortage but prices on rise

Aerial photographs of Blackpool's Bloomfield Road stadium, Blackpool Tower and North and Central Piers
Aerial photographs of Blackpool's Bloomfield Road stadium, Blackpool Tower and North and Central Piers
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Blackpool is enjoying a housing boom with estate agents saying they are busier than they have been for years.

Agents are optimistic about rising sales but add that sellers should not expect to achieve the same high prices as in the south of England.

Asking prices hit a new national peak of £262,594 this month, which is 7.3% higher than a year ago, marking the fastest annual rate of increase since October 2007.

However, in the North West asking prices stand at around 8.8% below what they were in October 2007 - at £165,581 on average.

Agents say resort prices are yet to rise significantly but a lack of new properties coming onto the market could lead to price hikes.

The attractively low prices have also been luring southern buyers to invest in the town.

Kevin Allitt, managing director of Oystons Estate Agency on Clifton Street, Blackpool, said: “It’s the busiest we’ve been in Blackpool for seven years.

“We are doing extremely well at the moment.

“Pressure is building on the lower end of the market because there is a shortage of properties for people coming into the market.

“Anything at about £90,000 is selling very quickly.

“We’re finding that lots of people from down south are buying properties and moving here to live. This happened last time there was a housing boom.”

Gareth Welsh from Hunters estate agency on Highfield Road, South Shore, said: “We’re definitely seeing an improvement in the market.

“However, we’re not seeing a rise in prices. The increases we have seen are miniscule compared to the national statistics.

“In March alone we have seen the market improve and we’ve just had our best month for sales since 2007.

“We’ve been receiving many more enquiries. There is a lack of new instructions on the market. We are desperate to get new stock. If we get it, we know we can sell it.

“The only problem comes when people think their property will have gone up as much as a the national average.

“There has been a slight improvement but expectations can be too high.”

Alan Lyne, owner of The Mortgage Factory on Queens Square, Poulton, said: “We have certainly seen things have ramped up and we are very busy.

“We haven’t seen a huge increase in prices but people are getting closer to the asking price these days.

“If you look at London where there isn’t enough housing supply, the prices have rocketed.

“A similar situation could arise here if there isn’t enough supply. Prices go up when people are fighting for properties.

“We could do with more vendors putting their properties on the market.

“A lot of people are having to pay the asking price because there is an under supply.”

Miles Shipside, director of the Rightmove property website, added: “While there are some hot spots emerging in the north, the momentum is not nearly as fast-paced as in the south.”