Estate agents see hope for sellers

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Estate agents in Keighley district say competitively priced houses should attract buyers, in spite of difficult economic conditions.

They were responding to a national study that stated house prices in the Bradford region, including Keighley and surrounding villages, fell nine per cent during 2012.

Building Society Nationwide produced the report, stating prices were likely to remain flat or edge lower still.

Michael Knowles, who owns Knowles Estate Agents in Silsden, said: “2012 was quite flat – a small drop of maybe up to five per cent.

“For us, the last quarter of last year did see a lot more interest. As long as the prices have been competitive, people have been coming forward to buy.

“Banks are still not being very helpful towards people wanting to borrow, and if people can’t find jobs, then the housing market will struggle.”

Mr Knowles added: “We’re quite a small area so it wouldn’t take a lot to make the market improve. As for this year, it’s early days but so far we’ve been very busy.”

Chris Day, branch manager at Your Move in Keighley, said: “Prices are still on a slight decline – they’re definitely not on their way up.

“As a branch we had a better year last year than in 2011. Last November we sold 16 homes and in the three days we’ve been back since the New Year we’ve sold five.

“With a lot of houses on the market and fewer buyers, people selling do need to make their homes appealing.”

District councillor Val Slater, Bradford’s housing portfolio holder, said the latest statistics did not surprise her in light of the national economy.

But she warned the figures should be taken in context, pointing out statistics released by the same building society at the end of 2011 showed Bradford district had an average house price increase of ten per cent.

  • What do you think? We welcome letters on this or any other subject. E-mail or write to The Editor, Keighley News, 80-86 North Street, Keighley BD31 3AG. Please include your full name, address and daytime telephone number.

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