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House prices in Bedfordshire double in only seven years

This article was published in February 2008. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

House prices in Bedfordshire have almost doubled over the last seven years, according to figures from the Land Registry.

In December 2000, buyers had to pay £97,556 for the average home in Beds, but by December last year the cost had rocketed to £189,687.

That means prices have risen by £1,096 a month over that time, or £253 a week, and the increase has been almost relentless, with the cost of the average home only dipping twice, by less than £100 in August 2003, and then by £542 between July and December 2005.

However in the past year the number of sales across the county has fallen sharply, from 1,138 in December 2006 to 676 the following October.

Tony Inskip, owner of Urban & Rural Property Services, said: "This shows what a good investment buying a house is in the end.

"Prices doubling in such a short space of time is a surprise. If you had asked me in 2000 whether I expected this to happen then I would have told you that I wouldn't have thought so.

"In the longer term, despite one or two blips, property has outstripped almost all other investments.

"And it is something we can all play with. Everybody needs somewhere to live, and you don't have to be an expert in stocks and shares to enter the market.

"But I do feel desperately sorry for first-time buyers, because how they do it defies logic sometimes. It comes down to a mixture of longer-term mortgages, help from the previous generation, and the fact that first-time buyers tend to be older now than they used to be."

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Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 19 February 2008