Cooling down? House price rises level off in Bristol after sales surge
By The Bristol Post
Asking house prices in Bristol have risen by 9 per cent in the last year, although the pace increases is cooling.
THE housing market in Bristol is showing the first signs of cooling off after months of spiralling prices fuelled by a surge of new buyers.
Figures show that asking prices across the city dipped in June for the first time since January, while selling prices have levelled out since May.
However, average house prices in Bristol have still risen overall by nine per cent in the last year to £185,120, while asking prices have shot up by 10 per cent.
As previously reported, homes in certain areas have been consistently selling above asking price in the last six months.
Sales were prompted when the government extended its Help to Buy scheme which enabled first-time buyers to get a mortgage with help from the government.
The scheme has been criticised by some economists for creating an artificial housing boom.
Signs of the Bristol market cooling off are a result of an end to the initial rush of buyers which started last year, according to Stuart Oliver, Bristol area manger for Andrews Estate Agents.
He said new easy to access mortgages and improvements to the economy last year saw a "log jam" opened in Bristol and a flood of new buyers.
He said: "In the last year or six months we have seen a real shortage fuelling a house price increase. We just haven't seen the stock to fulfil the needs.
"But now we can see a gradual slowing down after that first rush.
"It is a sign that the heat has been turned off at least.
"I don't know if it's hit a ceiling yet but growth is most certainly slowing slightly."
He added: "The interesting thing about the market in Bristol is I think it varies greatly from area to area, depending on the amount of properties which are available at the time.
"It's still a fantastic market and it still needs more houses to come to the market."
Kayleigh Rae, Haart of Bedminster branch manager, said more homes were starting to come onto the market to ease the pressure.
She said: "Prices rose strongly year on year.
"For example, last year we valued a three-bedroom Victorian terraced house in Ruby Street, Bedminster, at £235,000 tops. It went onto the market earlier this year and sold for £285,000.
"Today there's still plenty of interest from buyers but there are more homes coming onto the market. At least for now, sellers can therefore expect price increases to slow.
"An exception are highly desirable properties – say where there is a much bigger garden than the norm locally – where there will be multiple offers."