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But there’s optimism. And a caution to Essex home sellers

On Wednesday 15th January the Office of National Statistics published its latest house price index.

These official government statistics show that nationally, prices have increased by 2.2% in the year to date (to November 2019). This growth is higher than the previous index portrayed (to October 2019) and that stated growth of just 1.3% annually.

The average house is now worth £235,298 up from £230,224 a year ago.

However, for those of us in the East of England, including Essex, things are less rosy. Our region is the only one, says the ONS, that has seen price drops – down 0.7% year on year, the ONLY English region to see a fall. Even beleaguered London fared better with an increase albeit of only 0.2%.

But the cloud has a silver lining, says Russell Quirk, the Shenfield based property expert and director of Keller Williams Plus, the global estate agent now launched in Essex:

“The UK property market overall has been incredibly resilient of late despite a less than certain political backdrop and the negative sentiment that accompanies that. For prices to be up at all currently is going some, all things considered.

Where Essex and the east are concerned, this drop in prices is temporary and will recover in 2020 now that the election is behind us and the so-called ‘Boris Bounce’ takes hold. Mortgage costs are set to become cheaper still too as the Bank of England have indicated that they may cut interest rates soon. It all bodes well for a region that has historically enjoyed house price growth of 3% annually over the long term.

That said, there are more than a few overly optimistic sellers around currently and whilst things start to normalise, they will need to be more realistic in their pricing in order to achieve a swift sale”