Act quickly to avoid Lancashire house price hike

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House prices are set to rise sharply in 2016 – but you can nab a bargain by acting sooner rather than later.

That’s the advice today from Lancashire housing experts.

Sharon Duckworth, director at Lancashire-based Key Mortgage Advice, said buyers on the lookout for a cheaper property can take advantage of the current price dip, but should expect a steeper rise in property values in 2016.

House prices fell last month but Sharon believes a smaller than expected drop, coupled with a lack of supply to demand and changes being brought in by the government, suggest the lower price tags will be short lived.

Nationally, property values dipped 1.1 per cent between November and December this year, compared to the five-year average of 1.9 per cent and the smallest drop since 2006.

But across the UK generally, house prices have leapt by 10.1 per cent over the last year as the property market recovery has spread, with the average home now worth around £230,672.

Sharon said: “As the year draws to a close sellers often have more urgency, so set lower than average asking prices as an incentive. It’s not unusual, but this year the slowdown has been smaller and house prices are higher than they were at the end of 2015. The pace of growth will be faster in 2016 as confidence increases and the imbalance between housing supply and demand continues to push up house prices. We’re likely to see the steepest growth in the early months of the year.”

In the North West, the average property price in December 2015 was £171,000, compared to £163,000 in December 2014.

Andrew Youds, property manager at Ormskirk-based NSW Properties said: “House price growth in 2015 was between three and four per cent, bringing it more closely into line with earnings growth. This pace of growth bodes well for a sustainable increase in housing market activity if the market can keep pace with increasing demand. All in all, this year is shaping up to be a good time to consider making a move.”

Bloor Homes said Government schemes to support house-building will provide a further boost to aspirational house buyers.