Bury’s now enjoying a mini-boom in property

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There’s been a major upturn in the local property market with sales of homes and commercial properties hitting the roof.

One estate agent says sales in the Bury area at the start of the year are at a five-year high, another reports big interest from people wanting to buy shops, while another is forecasting a busy time in the months ahead.

There was a huge upturn in property sales in the first six weeks of 2012, according to award-winning estate agency Connells in Bury St Edmunds. The local agent is delighted to report a surge of interest from buyers resulting in a 22 per cent increase in sales in the first six weeks when compared to the same period last year.

Unsurprisingly, Connells’ bumper sales figures in 2012 coincide with an increased number of buyers registering their interest in purchasing a property with the branch and more online house-hunting activity. “The number of property purchases Connells has seen in the first six weeks of this year is at its highest for five years,” said branch manager, Ashley Cass.

“This combined with higher numbers of buyers in the market and online means it’s a great time for anyone looking to sell their home. Demand is high but sellers need to act fast to take advantage of the current surge in interest.

“There is pent up demand from buyers and not enough properties to fulfil this demand,” Ashley continued. “The market is looking extremely buoyant in 2012 and with the busy spring period fast approaching it’s a great time for us to sell a home.”

Despite the gloom and doom expressed in some quarters about the retail sector, Marshall Buck & Casson reports strong interest in shops in and around Bury town centre. John Casson, the firm’s commercial property director, said that since October last year: “We have let seven shop properties in St Johns Street, Hatter Street and Langton Place and with the exception of one, which was an assignment of an existing lease, all were let on new leases to a variety of business.

“These include a café, newsagents and two fashion shops among the new tenants. Although nationally some towns are reporting voids of up to three per cent in the main shopping areas, Bury St Edmunds has generally faired much better. When the Arc shopping centre first opened there was no doubt that it had an effect on the existing town centre with a number of multiples migrating to the new centre but subsequently things have settled down and gradually vacant shops are being taken up, which bodes well for the future of the town.

Marshall Buck & Casson has been offering a further retail unit in the close proximity of the town centre in Guildhall Street. That property, now under offer, is 7 Guildhall Street, is currently occupied by the shop Anna, which itself is moving to new premises in the town. With prominent frontage to Guildhall Street and two useful first floor rooms, the premises were available with a new ten-year lease.

At Jackson-Stops & Staff in Bury, Oliver Peacock in reviewing the agent’s prospects for 2012, said it promised to be an exciting year for the UK with The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and Paralympics to name a few of the highlights.

As far as the residential housing market was concerned it has become a very seasonal affair. Through those boom years estate agency as an industry got used to an active housing market 12 months of the year, Mr Peacock explained.

The sheer number of transactions taking place made sure of a “domino” effect that maintained critical mass and activity throughout the year. Recently HM Revenue and Customs said there had been 869,000 property transactions in the UK in 2011, down one per cent from the previous year and almost halved from a peak of 1,600,000 in 2007.

This goes some way to explaining why we now have a more seasonal market, said JacksonStops. The good news is that Spring is nearly upon us and although there is a price sensitive market there are still serious buyers actively looking to buy their dream home.

Jackson-Stops predicts that March, April, May and June will offer the best opportunities for marketing this year and if you are thinking of selling now is the time to take advice and begin preparations for your sale.