House prices on the increase in Cheltenham as spring approaches, says estate agency
House prices are on the increase in parts of the county as demand for homes continues to grow and not enough come onto the market.
Sacha Cresswell, of Philip Pugh & Partners in Cheltenham, said there were not enough family homes or period properties for first-time buyers, between the £150,000 to £250,000 mark, in the town.
She said spring was set to provide a further boost to a market that had performed surprisingly well since the new year.
And first-time buyers are showing plenty of interest as they receive help from family and mortgage lenders, she said.
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Sacha, who has around 20 years' experience in the Cheltenham market, said: "We're selling properties and we're selling properties that have been hanging on in the market for a while. We need more to replenish the market.
"We are finding there is more than one buyer for each property when prices are not inflated.
"We have hit the ground running since Christmas. It's better than we were expecting. We came back at the beginning of the year and there is this positive feel to the market.
"There's a new generation of buyers out there that perhaps haven't been so affected by the downturn.
"Spring will give an extra lift in what is already an increasingly positive market."
Sacha said there were "a fair few" first-time buyers around looking to get onto the market in the town that were older than before, had been saving for some time and had support from family members.
She added now was a good time for buyers and sellers to move in the market as the days started to get longer and brighter and activity in it increased.
She also warned that property search websites were not always up-to-date and some house price figures needed to be questioned. For instance a property could go for less than the norm, she said.
"Property websites do not always give the full picture of what has happened before," she said.
"Partners may have split up or a property may have been purchased within a family."
There were many investors in the market that were buying because they were not getting returns from the banks and there was also a big market for properties in need of modernising, Sacha said.
She added the agency was seeing less tenants at the moment but the lettings market was still ticking over nicely.