It’s a mixed picture for homeowners in the county
House prices in parts of Berkshire are substantially falling, but others continue to rise.
The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show towns like Bracknell, Reading and Slough are not in line with the national trend.
While this is good news for those looking to buy for the first time, it is much more of a worry for those looking to sell.
The national picture is much better, and estate agents say a factor is the “Boris Bounce”, after the Conservative Party’s thumping general election win in December 2019.
However, staunchly Conservative areas like Bracknell and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead – constituency of former Prime Minister Theresa May – are seeing considerable drops in house prices.
The biggest rise was in West Berkshire, which saw prices increase by 3.7 per cent from a drop of 1.1 per cent in November.
Prices rose in Wokingham by 1.1 per cent, which means the average house price in the area is now a massive £418,261, according to the Office of National Statistics.
But Bracknell Forest saw a fall of one per cent, Windsor & Maidenhead, where prices are still huge, was down by 1.8 per cent.
There was also a 3.8 per cent drop in average house prices in Reading, Berkshire.
Slough was the biggest faller, with a 4.2 per cent drop.
Marc von Grundherr, director of lettings and sales agent at Benham and Reeves, said Mr Johnson’s election win had had a positive effect.
He said: “Much has been made of the Boris bounce and there is no doubting that it spurred a huge uplift in market activity.
“While the figures display a slightly more muted market landscape in terms of actual sales, it is important to remember that even the most enthusiastic of buyers and sellers would struggle to get a transaction completed in the few short weeks between the election result and the end of the year.
“All in all a resilient show from the UK property market, particularly given the backdrop of political turbulence that has been prevalent for much of the last 12 months, and a foundation that should now see a strong performance for the year ahead following on from December’s election results.”
Mike Scott, chief property analyst at online estate agents Yopa, added: “This index tends to lag behind other indicators, since it is based on the completion of sales whose prices were largely agreed several months earlier, and so we anticipate that it will continue to strengthen over the next few months as the renewed market confidence following the decisive election result feeds through into completed sales.”
But the government itself was more cautious, with the ONS report saying: “Purchases of very high value properties may be particularly affected by considerations such as uncertainty, including around the effects of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, expectations of actual or potential tax changes, and other factors that may have an impact on their ongoing value.”
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