Humber Bridge toll cut led to house sale rise: Estate agent

Image caption,
The cost of a one way car journey across the bridge will fall to £1.50

An estate agent in North Lincolnshire claims the reduction in Humber Bridge tolls has caused a "big jump" in house sales in the area.

One agent reports a 300% increase in viewings compared to the first three months of 2011.

The tolls are due to halve to £1.50 on 1 April after the government cut £150m of the bridge's outstanding debt.

The reduction means a car driver who uses the bridge for their daily commute will save £30 a week.

Stephen Burrell, from Lovelle Estate Agency, said: "In 2011 for the first quarter we arranged 61 viewings.

"In this quarter, bearing in mind we've got a week to go, we've got 225 viewings, which is roughly a 300% increase."

The increase in viewings has been matched by a significant rise in the number of people from the north bank of the Humber buying homes in the area.

'Make a difference'

Louise Wharton, from estate agents DDM Residential, said she had analysed the sales figures in the firm's Barton-upon-Humber office that showed which area house buyers came from.

She said figures from the final quarter of 2011 showed that all the house sales in the area were to people from Lincolnshire.

In comparison, in the first three months of this year 37.5% of home sales were to buyers with a Hull postcode.

Ms Wharton said that the affordability of houses in North Lincolnshire in comparison to homes on the north bank was part of the "big jump" in sales.

She said: "Since the bridge tolls we have noticed a difference. When we get people on the telephone or by e-mail we say, 'You're from the other side of the river, why have you decided to come this side of the river?'

"They say, 'Oh well the house prices on this side are much higher and now the bridge tolls are coming down that will make a difference'."

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