THERE is a glimmer of hope in the property market.
Estate agents in Huddersfield have reported a resurgence in buyer interest after two successful property auctions in the town.
Bramleys and Boultons both said most of the properties sold in excess of the guide prices when they held separate events at the Galpharm Stadium.
Bramleys, based at St George’s Square, said its first auction of 2009 attracted about 200 potential buyers.
All nine lots coming under the hammer were sold – most of them for more than the asking price.
Among them, a house at Forrest Avenue, Marsh, which was listed with a guide price of £125,000, sold for £147,000 while a residential property at Royds Street, Marsden realised £75,000 against a guide price of £65,000.
Properties at Virginia Road, Marsh; and Savile Park Street, Halifax, also exceeded their guide prices while another at Broomfield Road, Marsh, achieved a sale at the top end of its guide price range of £80,000 to £90,000.
A spokeswoman for Bramleys said: “The attendance was a good turnout given what is considered a tough market.
“The sale of all nine properties proves that the market is still moving, with people still on the lookout for a bargain.”
Boultons, which has offices at John William Street, said most properties at its February auction sold for above the guide prices.
Among them, Cleckheaton-based Clough Corporate Services sold a property on behalf of Age Concern at Cross Church Street.
The guide price was £100,000 to £150,000 – but it sold for £247,000.
Mike Sellers, partner at Boultons, said that 20-odd commercial and residential properties auctioned all sold for more than the reserve price by about 10% – netting a total sales value of about £1.65m.
He said: “We were delighted by the results of the auction, which was made up of a really wide mixture of price, size, location and type.
“It’s obviously a buyer’s market at the moment, but to consistently attain excess of the reserve price was not insignificant.”
He added: “Since January, we have had a gradual increase in enquiries and this in turn is leading to improved sales.
“I firmly believe that both commercial and residential buyers still view Huddersfield and the surrounding area as a great place to be in business and to live.”
As well as the Cross Church Street property, others sold at auction included a farm house in 3.5 acres of land which sold for £435,000 and a former children’s home for £125,000 as well as a number of smaller investment properties ranging in value from £46,000 to £90,000.
House prices continued to fall during February despite an increase in activity in the market, new figures show.
The average home in England and Wales lost a further 0.8% of its value during the month, to leave prices 10% lower than they were a year earlier at £157,000, housing intelligence group Hometrack said.
But there were some encouraging signs of a pick-up in activity in the market, including a 17% jump in the number of new buyers registering with estate agents and a 6.7% rise in new homes being put on to the market.
The number of sales agreed also increased by 35.9%.