Repossession doesn't always mean big discounts

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Properties sold following repossession are not quite the bargain many of us probably think.

In fact, according to house sale website, the average sale price in England of so-called corporate properties – repossessions, probate, part-exchange sales from housebuilders – is currently £151,700; only £9,737 or 6.4 per cent lower than the national average for all property purchases. But there are substantial regional differences, with corporate properties in the South-east 13.5 per cent lower than the average for all sales in that area. This was closely followed by East Anglia where the discount is 12.6 per cent. At the other end of the scale, corporate properties in the West Midlands fetch only 1.5 per cent less than the average for all property.

A firming-up of the housing market seems well under way with the Halifax announcing last week that house prices rose by 1.1 per cent in July, the second consecutive monthly rise. "Better affordability, improved availability of mortgage finance and a modest pick-up in consumer confidence are all contributing to a stronger housing market," David Brown, director at estate agency firm LSL Property Services.

This renewed vigour in the housing market will no doubt benefit from the Bank of England's decision last week to keep UK interest rates on hold at 0.5 per cent.

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