Only the 'Gold Trafford' triangle seems able to buck an ever-downward trendPrices here have historically been low - the average property in Blackburn, for example, costs only just over £110,000. Even in Greater Manchester Greater Manchester, former metropolitan county, 497 sq mi (1,288 sq km), W central England. It comprised ten administrative districts: Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, and Wigan. it is still not difficult to find homes below that price: Wigan Wigan (wĭg`ən), city (1991 pop. 88,725) and metropolitan district, N England, located in the Manchester metropolitan area on the Douglas River. , Oldham and Salford can all undercut undercut,
n 1. the portion of a tooth that lies between its height of contour and the gingivae, only if that portion is of less circumference than the height of contour.
2. it and the average terraced house in Rochdale is less than £100,000.
But these areas are the ones hit hardest by the economic slowdown - the region's average annual male earnings are now almost £3,500 a year below the UK average.
Nevertheless, estate agents insist that short-term falls in house prices must be seen in the context of values in the north west rising 78 per cent since early 2003, compared with 56 per cent nationwide.
Despite price falls this year, properties in Cheshire are still worth 5.1 per cent more than in the spring of 2007, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the Land Registry.
Top-end property markets in 'Gold Trafford' - the Wilmslow/Alderley Edge/Hale triangle in Cheshire - rely heavily on selling £1m-plus homes to football stars. These have suffered in the downturn, but less than lower-priced homes bought by mere mortals.
There have been spectacular falls in recent months in Blackburn (down 11.8 per cent between January and April, the most recent data available from the Land Registry), while Blackpool was down 6.2 per cent in the same period and rural Lancashire by 5.5 per cent.
Hometrack, a property consultancy analysing estate agents' sales data, says that people putting homes on the market in the north west are taking 11.4 weeks before they find a buyer, longer than across most of England or Wales Wales, Welsh Cymru, western peninsula and political division (principality) of Great Britain (1991 pop. 2,798,200), 8,016 sq mi (20,761 sq km), west of England; politically united with England since 1536. The capital is Cardiff. , and sellers are agreeing on deals that represent only 91.6 per cent of their new, lowered asking prices.
However, anecdotal evidence anecdotal evidence,
n information obtained from personal accounts, examples, and observations. Usually not considered scientifically valid but may indicate areas for further investigation and research. direct from agents suggests the picture may be much worse than that. The market in Manchester, where 81 per cent of all homes built between 2003 and 2006 are apartments, is particularly exposed to high levels of what Experian calls the UK's 'sub-prime' borrowers.
John Halman, of Gascoigne Halman in Cheshire, says: 'Activity levels are at an all-time low as the market looks for confidence. Any vendor lucky enough to sell is going into rented accommodation and, as a consequence, there is a build-up build·up also build-up
1. The act or process of amassing or increasing: a military buildup; a buildup of tension during the strike.
2. of purchasers waiting for the market to change.'
Jonathan Clayton of Blackpool agents Bentley Higgs is even more pessimistic pes·si·mism
1. A tendency to stress the negative or unfavorable or to take the gloomiest possible view: "We have seen too much defeatism, too much pessimism, too much of a negative approach" . 'A very gloomy picture, with no end in sight' is his verdict.
Estate agents in Liverpool, where sales were to have been buoyed this summer by the city's status as European Capital of Culture The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union for a period of one year during which it is given a chance to showcase its cultural life and cultural development. , have reported a downturn of up to 50 per cent in deals since late 2007. Earlier this year, local press reports said there were as many as 15,000 unoccupied buy-to-let flats in the city.