HOUSE PRICES in West Yorkshire are among the worst in the country when it comes to bouncing back from the financial crisis, property experts have found.
The average asking price in the area was down almost 10 per cent on pre-recession levels this month, according to statistics from website Rightmove.
Evidence that the north-south divide is hitting homeowners was revealed in the national run-down, which showed price tags in areas such as London, Cambridgeshire and Surrey have soared since May 2008.
And estate agents predict the picture is likely to get worse for homeowners before it gets better.
“All people see is news articles telling them their houses are going up in value each month, they genuinely believe it and it’s just not the case,” said Ben Jacobs, of Stoneacre Properties, which has branches in north and east Leeds.
There are some more encouraging signs, however.
Estate agents say there has been a rise in the number of buyers looking for property in the city centre and demand in areas such as north Leeds has fuelled an increase in the average property price in recent years.
Laura Walker, at Leeds-based Manning Stainton, said: “West Yorkshire is a vast area. In the popular north Leeds suburbs I have noticed high demand for houses and a low supply.
“A lack of new build properties in the area has also added to the lack in supply which I believe has fuelled prices.
“Over the past 14 months we have had a number of cases of best and final offers and received some offers of up to 13 per cent over, what we could consider to be, a realistic asking price.”
“There is always interest in the more affluent areas and the salaries people who buy property there don’t seem to have been hit as badly in the recession,” added Mr Jacobs.
Figures show other parts of the region are also struggling to bounce back from the recession.
In South Yorkshire, this month’s average price tag of £142,602 is minus 5.5 per cent on 2008.
In East Yorkshire, the average seller is now asking for 8.4 per cent less than they did pre- crash.