Friday, February 2, 2007

'Potter effect' drives up house prices

Property market experts are noticing a new trend in what is influencing the rise in house prices UK towns, which they are terming the "Potter-effect".

The effect was first seen in Alnwick, which following its starring role as the setting for Harry Potter’s adventures in The Philosopher's Stone, sent the price of homes in the small Northumberland town rising and boosted the local economy.

Alnwick house prices rose 51 per cent in 2001, the year of the film’s release, with a record number of properties changing hands – a total of 226.

However, housing market experts are predicting a similar effect from another Potter – Beatrix – particularly in Ambleside, Cumbria, where the famous author and illustrator lived.

The film of Beatrix Potter's life - Miss Potter - is tipped to give the area an immediate boost of around £5 million, economists predict, with tourists from all over the world visiting the area.

"I would expect to see demand for homes in Ambleside escalate over the next year, as investors in particular look to capitalise on increased tourism in the area," commented David Bexon , managing director of Email4Property.

"In fact, I would expect to see the number of people looking to buy second homes at least treble, with buyers drawn in by the picturesque countryside and the excellent investment opportunities.

"However, the smart investor will have already secured a property here, beating the crowds and placing themselves in an excellent position to profit from the imminent influx of tourists, before demand reaches a peak and inflated prices push properties out of their reach."

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