House prices dropped slightly, by 0.6%, in Bedford in April, new figures show.
But the drop does not reverse the longer-term trend, which has seen property prices in the area grow by 12.9% over the last year.
An imbalance between supply and demand for properties has remained the primary reason behind climbing house prices across the UK throughout the pandemic.
The need for larger deposits and constraints on accessing mortgages have pushed homeownership further out of reach for many first-time buyers – despite Government figures showing 50% of renters would be able to afford the monthly payments.
In a recent major speech in Blackpool, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a “comprehensive review” of the mortgage market would take place in a bid to help more people onto the property ladder.
The average Bedford house price in April was £341,146, Land Registry figures show – a 0.6% decrease on March.
Over the month, the picture was different to that across the East of England, where prices increased 0.4%, and Bedford was lower than the 1.1% rise for the UK as a whole.
Over the last year, the average sale price of property in Bedford rose by £39,000 – putting the area 15th among the East of England’s 45 local authorities with price data for annual growth.
The highest annual growth in the region was in Babergh, where property prices increased on average by 19.7%, to £361,000. At the other end of the scale, properties in East Hertfordshire gained just 5.3% in value, giving an average price of £434,000.
FIRST STEPS ON THE PROPERTY LADDER
First-time buyers in Bedford spent an average of £274,000 on their property – £30,000 more than a year ago, and £47,000 more than in April 2017.
By comparison, former owner-occupiers paid £390,000 on average in April – 42.3% more than first-time buyers.
Owners of flats saw the biggest fall in property prices in Bedford in April – they dropped 1% in price, to £178,468 on average. But over the last year, prices rose by 7.8%.
Among other types of property:
Detached: down 0.4% monthly; up 15.7% annually; £573,575 average
Semi-detached: down 0.7% monthly; up 13.5% annually; £340,567 average
Terraced: down 0.5% monthly; up 11.4% annually; £263,659 average
HOW DO PROPERTY PRICES IN BEDFORD COMPARE?
Buyers paid 1.1% less than the average price in the East of England (£345,000) in April for a property in Bedford. Across the East of England, property prices are roughly the same as those across the UK, where the average cost £281,000.
The most expensive properties in the East of England were in St Albans – £598,000 on average, and 1.8 times as much as more than in Bedford. St Albans properties cost 2.9 times as much as homes in Great Yarmouth (£207,000 average), at the other end of the scale.
The highest property prices across the UK were in Kensington and Chelsea.
Average property price in April
The East of England: £344,943
Annual growth to April
The East of England: +11.9%