Are house prices going up in Cambridgeshire?
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Property prices across Cambridgeshire have reached a record high, with the average home now selling for £342,212 – an annual increase of 13.2 per cent.
It was the same story across the county, with the Land Registry recording the highest sale prices ever in the first month of this year for all six local authority districts.
Not surprisingly, the most expensive homes in the county were found in Cambridge, where a new high of £483,126 was achieved – though the annual increase here was the smallest at 7.7 per cent, up from £448,483 the year before.
East Cambs saw the biggest increase, with prices up by 17 per cent year-on-year, from £288,354 to £337,573.
The most affordable properties were in Fenland, where the record now stands at £229,388, up from £199,299 – a 15 per cent increase.
In South Cambs, prices rose by 13.5 per cent, from £387,877 to £440,157, while Huntingdonshire saw a 13.2 per cent uplift, from £266,014 to £301,155.
Sales volumes across Cambs have also reached a record high; in June 2021 – the most recent period for which figures are available – 1,771 properties were sold across the county, the highest figure since records began in 1995.
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It's not just Cambridgeshire that's experiencing a property boom, however; Nationwide's latest house price index reported annual growth of 14.3 per cent for February across the UK, taking the cost of a typical home to £265,312.
This is the fastest annual pace of growth since 2004, and the mortgage lender noted "a surprising amount of momentum" in the UK housing market, in spite of "the mounting pressure on household budgets and the steady rise in borrowing costs".
Indeed, the cost of living crisis appears to have done little to subdue the market, which has remained buoyant during the pandemic, in part due to government incentives such as the stamp duty holiday.
Ed Meyer, head of residential sales at Savills in Cambridge, said his office had seen a busy start to the year, with lifestyle factors continuing to motivate buyers.
"We’ve been arranging around double the number of viewings than we normally would for this time of year, while the number of buyers registering with us is also substantially higher," he said.
"On the flip side, the number of properties currently on the market is significantly down – creating a huge imbalance between supply and demand that has led to fierce competition and a subsequent increase in house prices.
"Of the properties we’ve sold so far this year for example the majority have sold for the guide price or above. Meanwhile 80 per cent of properties have received multiple bids."
Buyers in strong positions have driven much of this activity, Ed said, adding that interest from London buyers remained strong.
“Looking ahead, more properties will come onto the market, especially as we move into April and May and what is traditionally the busiest time of year," he said. "However we are still expecting the fairly resilient levels of demand to be the overriding driver of house prices, potentially cushioning any impact of rising interest rates.
"Interestingly, the vast majority of our buying audience are not expecting these rises to effect their stance on moving – pointing to a continued stratification of the market, with activity levels remaining more robust in higher price bands where more affluent buyers have more housing equity to fall back on.”