HOUSE prices in Harborough have shot up by nearly 10 per cent in the last quarter.
Land Registry figures show there was a 9.8 per cent increase in prices paid in the district between July and September, compared with the previous quarter.
The largest increase was detached homes, which saw a 7.2 per cent rise to an average price of £319,515.
The price of a terraced home was up 3.3 per cent to £157,804, and a flat up 0.4 per cent to £124,730. Only semi-detached homes fell, down 3.3 per cent to £166,960.
The rise is by far the highest in Leicestershire and compares with a 2.7 per cent increase in Melton and a 3.4 per cent drop in Hinckley and Bosworth.
The figures, based on 307 home sales during the period, show the average price paid across the district was £237,275, almost £40,000 more than the next most expensive district in the county, Melton.
The annual change in house prices is down 1.3 per cent, but the upturn in recent months is giving cause for careful optimism among industry players.
Peter Buckingham, a partner at Andrew Granger & C0 estate agents, said: “Harborough has built up a reputation as being one of the most desirable places to live in the East Midlands.
“Our sales have been excellent over the past six months, which wasn’t predicted but again, shows the desirability of the area.
“There has been a real improvement, if you look back to the difficult years in 2008/09. But Harborough has always stood up well compared to other areas.”
Mark Robinson, chief executive of Market Harborough Building Society, said: “Harborough is a very attractive place to live with good transport links so in a way it’s not surprising the prices are holding up pretty well.
“The other factor that’s starting to help a bit is that there are more mortgage deals available for folks with smaller deposits.
“We’re seeing a lot of customers coming in with mum and dad, who want to help the young members of the family get started on the housing ladder.
“The fundamentals are heading in the right direction which gives some optimism for 2013.”
Peter Wilkinson, of Lubenham, is managing director of Landmark Planning.
He said: “Increased early planning work for housing is often a very good lead indicator of emerging out of recession. This is how the largest recession of the 20th century in the 1930s started to end.
“Landmark Planning, and other companies like mine are seeing this upturn now. It may be two years before you see more housing coming out of the ground, but just remember where you heard this first.”
James Sellicks, of the Harborough estate agents of the same name, said: “The market has been stable. But exceptional properties at realistic prices have sold well.
“We saw a slow start to the year but really picked up at the back end of the summer and into autumn. November was a really good month. With the lenders, there has been an increase in the quantity of good products with lower rates, which has also stimulated the market.”