House prices rocket in Bracknell and Wokingham
Experts say the increase will continue due to demand in Wokingham and Bracknell's town centre regeneration
House prices in Wokingham and Bracknell have soared by more than £10,000 on average in the past year.
Experts predict the increase will continue in the coming months as demand continues to exceed supply in Wokingham and the Bracknell town centre regeneration progresses.
The average price of a home in Wokingham has reached £293,382 after a 5.9 per cent rise over the 12 months to February, according to the latest figures from the Land Registry.
In January, the average change was measured at 0.2 per cent in the Wokingham borough.
Homes in neighbouring Bracknell Forest increased in value by an average of 4.6 per cent in the same period, bringing the average price to £221,249.
Prices rose by 0.3 per cent in January.
Neal Mackenzie, managing director at Michael Hardy Estate Agents in Wokingham, said: “It has been quite busy and promising since March last year.
“The problem is there aren’t enough houses coming in, which is possibly distorting prices. There is more demand than there is supply.
“Wokingham has a great advantage of the reputation of its local schools, which makes people come here. There are also good communication links.
“However an awful lot of people have come from out of the area and complained about how difficult it is to get into Wokingham with the roadworks and gasworks and some have decided not to move because it’s expanding at such a rate.”
Thousands of new houses are planned for the borough in mini-towns around Wokingham, but Mr MacKenzie doesn’t believe the developments would necessarily buck the trend.
He added: “It caters for one section of the market, but a lot of people are not looking to buy brand new.
“I can’t see the market changing significantly before the next election.
“All sorts of things could happen over which we have no control, but on the basis of things going as they are at the moment I can’t see anything moving negatively for the foreseeable future.”
House prices in the South East increased on average by 2.2 per cent in January, completing a 6.4 per cent rise for year to reach an average of £223,128.
Antony Gibson, director of residential sales at Bracknell-based Romans, said: “The figures for Bracknell are expected but still some way behind the growth being seen in London which is reported at 10.9 per cent.
“A huge contributing factor to the increase in house prices is the recent regeneration of Bracknell town centre, leading to better facilities and more employment opportunities.
“It seems that buyers are seeing now is an excellent time to move, whether they are first-time buyers, investors or current homeowners.
“In real terms interest rates and mortgage products remain very affordable, with short and medium term forecasts indicating that rates will remain low.
“The biggest concern home movers have is about the perceived lack of properties to buy, which is not strictly true.
“Estate agents are listing new homes and phoning buyers to secure sales every day, so some properties may not even be listed online before they sell.”