AN ONLINE network of travel agents says Chester is well positioned to weather the property market storm in 2009.
Email4property.co.uk says Chester stands in good stead because it recorded only a marginal fall in property prices during 2008 compared to much of the country.
In its monthly regional house price index, Email4property.co.uk indicated a resilient housing market in Chester, buoyed by its appealing local culture and dynamic economy.
Chester’s popularity among home buyers was underpinned by a major increase in property supply between 2005 and 2006. Prices peaked in 2007 and only dropped by 0.8% in 2008 according to land registry figures.
Steven Lees, head of marketing for Email4property.co.uk, said: “Chester has soared in popularity in recent years, becoming one of the most desirable addresses in Cheshire, if not the North West.
“The city boasts a dynamic local economy, generating much of the region’s employment and wealth.
“The location is also highly desirable, with its proximity to the coast and picturesque Cheshire countryside, as well as good links into Liverpool and Manchester.”
Apartments have suffered most from the credit crunch, with the average price falling by 11% from the end of 2007.
Larger, family properties have held their value better in the current climate, and semi-detached homes have even recorded a 5% price rise this year.
Caroline Hordley of Homesale in Chester, added: “As with many areas throughout the country, it is the lower-end of the market in Chester that has suffered the most this year. The local market has been flooded by an influx of new-build apartments in recent years, and prices for these homes have suffered as a result.
“Larger homes have not faced the same issue of over-supply here. There is a high demand for quality, family homes in Chester, and as a result, semi-detached and detached houses have retained their value.
“We have actually had a very good year in terms of sales, recording our highest level of transactions in October and November. This is partly due to the many affordable options we are able to offer, but it also underlines the wide appeal of Chester as a place to live.”