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   Inside Out - East Midlands: Monday 3rd March, 2003


Property in Sneinton
PROPERTY BOOM | The East Midlands is the country's property hot spot

House prices in the East Midlands are rising faster than anywhere else in the country. We pin point the hot spots, and ask why they're top of the property pops.

It may seem strange but the East Midlands is currently the property boom capital of Britain. It's taken over from East Anglia as the UK's property hot spot, with prices rising by 38% over the last year.

House prices in the region have been going through the roof over the last few months.

One Derbyshire town has seen prices rise by 60% in a year, while an inner city area has gone up by more than 100%.

We explore this amazing new phenomena, and ask why has the East Midlands become such a desirable place to invest in the home of your dreams?

The property ladder

Trying to get a foothold on the property ladder is never easy, but what if you live in Alfreton, one town identified as a place to invest by market experts?

Alfreton road sign
Alfreton is at the centre of the East Midlands property boom

The average house price in the former market town has rise from £50,000 to £81,000 in the past twelve months.

Debbie Smith, who wants to buy her first home, says "It's an absolute nightmare. I might not be able to afford the property I want and I feel like I'm being pushed to borrow more than is comfortable for me".

Estate agents predict 2003 is going to continue to be a good year for house price rises in Alfreton because it still has to catch up with similar places in neighbouring counties.

Alfreton has a lot going for it - there are plentiful jobs, it's near the M1 motorway and it's easy to commute to Derby, Nottingham and even London.

Inner city hi-life

House signs
Property price are spiralling in both city centres and out of town locations

Alfreton isn't the only place where house buyers are feeling the property pinch.

Sneinton close to Nottingham city centre has been highlighted as the place where prices have spiralled faster than anywhere else in Britain in recent years.

In the past twelve months they've gone up by a staggering 100%, five times the national average.

Many buyers have struck it lucky by buying at the right time in Sneinton - at the end of the 1990s.

Some of those selling homes are now getting £70,000 for houses they bought for £25,000 in the late 90's.

Those buying today may not be so lucky if the property bubble bursts.

Property prices
Sneinton flats

Average property prices in the East Midlands July - September 2002

£158, 993
Semi detached
£86, 198
Terraced house
Flat or maisonette
All properties
£106, 371

Source: H.M. Land Registry

Boom times

It's a sobering thought that the average property price in the East Midlands has now broken the £100,000 mark.

Professor Michael Oxley from Nottingham's Trent University says, "What has happened is there is a race to buy the homes between first time buyers and investors who want to get into the rental market."

So will the property boom continue and how will first time buyers cope with escalating prices? Some experts are predicting the end of rapid price increases over the next twelve months.

Until then, first time buyers in the East Midlands will either have to sit tight and hope for a stabilisation of prices, or leap in and bite the property bullet.

See also ...

Inside Out: East Midlands
City centre living in Nottingham

UK property price guide
House price growth 'to slow gently' (News)
Prices unlikely to crash (News)

On the rest of the web
Provider - UK Property Prices
The Land Registry
Halifax Mortgage report

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