House prices in Mansfield and Nottinghamshire are back to their pre-recession peak, say estate agents, with annual house inflation reaching almost five per cent in the county.
The latest figures from Zoopla and the Land Registry’s House Price Index have been hailed as good news for homeowners trapped in negative equity and investors looking for a return on their money.
But first time buyers are struggling to afford a home as the average house price in parts of the county reaches nine times the average wage.
Figures on the Zoopla website say prices in Mansfield rose by 3.7 per cent this year with the average property value in Mansfield at £126,960.
In Nottingham prices rose by 7.69 per cent where the average property value is £168,138.
Neil Temple, director of David Blount Estate Agents said: ”Prices peaked in 2007 and then dropped 20 per cent.
“We are now back up to that level in the market.
He said prices had probably risen five per cent in the last 18 months.
“What is interesting is in the past week or two investors from further south are talking about Nottinghamshire as a potential place to invest this year.
“They are not getting the same returns down south and there has been a ripple effect.”
“First time buyers are coming back into the market now if they have saved a big enough deposit - but they are tending to leapfrog the terrace home market.
“If prices are right and schemes available to help them, they want to buy rather than stay in rented accommodation.”
Mansfield estate agent John Sankey said he was sceptical about the rise figures.
He said in his experience there had been little or no increase in house prices although sales had been good in 2014.
“All it takes is a few expensive properties in Nottingham to be sold and it would skew the figures.
“But when sales are good it is generally a prelude to price increases and there will be a bit of a shortage,” he said.
He welcomed recent changes to Stamp Duty as a useful saving, but said the Government’s Help to Buy scheme should be managed carefully to avoid skewing house prices.
On first time buyers he added: “I don’t think they should get away with putting less than 10 per cent down.”