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Monday, 4 February, 2002, 09:45 GMT
Homes shortage hits estate agents
Property in Wrexham
Houses in north east Wales are being snapped up
Estate agents in north east Wales are facing a 'Catch 22' situation with the local housing market.

A shortfall in available houses to buy has led some sellers to hold back on putting their properties on the market - a problem more synonymous with the south east of England.

Overall - 77,411
Detached - 114, 010
Semi-detached - 59,246
Terraced - 45,044
Flat/maisonette - 43,075

While houses are being snapped up as soon as they come onto the market, several agents report they cannot find enough people ready to sell up.

2002 has seen prices in hot spots such as the commuter belt round Chester and Vale of Clwyd continue to rise.

Estate agents estimate prices rose by 15-20% in some pockets of the region.

With low interest rates and competition among agents fierce, the housing market in north east Wales shows no signs of slowing down.

Meanwhile, a report by the Council of Mortgage Lenders show reveals repossessions are down by one fifth and the number of people in mortgage arrears has also significantly dropped.

Overall - 75,874
Detached - 115,698
Semi-detached - 61,860
Terraced - 43,518
Flat/maisonette - 43,500

Land Registry figures for July-September 2001 show Denbighshire is one of the cheapest areas for homes buyers to find a home, with prices averaging at 67,000.

In Flintshire, the average home is 77,000, one of the most expensive areas in north east Wales, while the figure in Wrexham is 75,000.

Estate Agent David Jones of Jones and Redfearn, with shops in Rhyl and St Asaph, said sales for January had been "red hot".

"Homes are being bought quickly along the coastal strip," said Mr Jones.

"A few people are holding back, waiting for properties to come onto the market before selling. But we would urge them to put them on the market now, to create available stock."

Overall - 67,192
Detached - 85,169
Semi-detached - 54,174
Terraced - 45,641
Flat/maisonette - 32,050

Mr Jones added: "In the areas around Mold, Connah's Quay and Wrexham, we have seen prices really rocket.

"As ever, the Vale of Clwyd is proving very popular, with some properties selling for 300-400,000."

Jones and Redfearn recently sold a modern, detached bungalow in 24 hours.

Tony Flynn of Cavendish estate agents in Llandudno said 2002 had been slow to start off.

But by the third week of January, buyers were out in force.

Street in Wrexham
Many are putting off the selling their homes

The most popular houses for sale round Llandudno are in the 60,000 bracket for first-time buyers and bigger 150,000 houses.

"The Deganwy and Conwy area has been busy and we have been achieving asking prices there."

Elfed Williams, chairman of the North East Wales National Association of Estate Agents, said members had reported the Catch 22 phenomenon.

The shortfall in available houses was playing into the hands of sellers, he said.

"People will only sell if they need to sell," he said.

"New instructions are oxygen to estate agents. "We are trying to encourage people to test the market and put their houses up for sale.

Mr Williams added: "We are finding the second homes market is strong, with people buying properties in Blaenau Ffestiniog for 25-30,000 and doing them up."

See also:

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