House prices set for 'Remarkably stable' times in 2010

PUBLISHED: 12:20 21 December 2009 | UPDATED: 07:29 30 May 2010

HOUSE prices in Great Dunmow and the surrounding villages will remain remarkably stable next year, but will not increase, according to estate agents Mullucks Wells. Company director William Wells has heralded 2010 as a year of opportunities but agreed

HOUSE prices in Great Dunmow and the surrounding villages will remain "remarkably stable" next year, but will not increase, according to estate agents Mullucks Wells.

Company director William Wells has heralded 2010 as a "year of opportunities" but agreed that the last 12 months in the housing industry have been somewhat mixed.

He also predicted that anyone hoping for continued house price rises next year were likely to be disappointed.

"At the beginning of the year, we were optimistic that 2009 would be better than 2008, simply because it couldn't be any worse," he said.

"The Bank of England's move in taking the base rate to 0.5 per cent helped - and prices that had plunged by around 20 per cent within a 16-month period began to rise in the early summer.

"For some properties, this meant their values bounced back by over 10 per cent in the subsequent six months.

"However, some owners seem to be under the impression that prices will keep on rising through next year as well. I don't believe that the economy is in a sound enough state to let that happen.

"Nevertheless, prices will remain remarkably stable throughout 2010 - and a year of stability may not be such a bad thing, after the turmoil we've all been through."

According to Mr Wells, the length of time taken between agreeing a sale and the exchange of contracts has been the greatest frustration of 2009.

He said: "We all thought that the introduction of the Home Information Pack would help to shorten the period of time between a sale being agreed and exchanged.

"In 2007 and 2008 the average time was around six-and-a-half weeks. But this has now increased to just under eight weeks.

"Whilst this has been frustrating, the introduction of HIPs has also created greater commitment from both sides - which means that fewer sales fall through."

He added: "As the year draws to a close, we remain optimistic for the property market in this part of the country over the next 12 months.

"I have enormous confidence in the people of this attractive part of the countryside, knowing that they will continue to manage their financial affairs in a prudent way."

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