HOMEOWNERS in Tunbridge Wells made an average of £36,000 on their properties last year, although increases in house prices have now stopped, industry figures show.
According to one of the country’s biggest lenders, prices across Tunbridge Wells shot up by 8.3 per cent in September compared to 12 months earlier.
This means the average house in the town and wider borough is now fetching £36,163 more than it was this time last year.
By contrast, the average wage in Tunbridge Wells is just £35,500 per annum, meaning the average homeowner made more money from their house than from their salary last year.
The most recent snapshot of the housing market by the Nationwide building society shows that across the UK, house prices rose by 9.5 per cent in September compared to the same time last year.
But the mortgage lender says that house prices have now stopped growing month on month and a stronger slowdown is expected in the coming weeks as surging inflation and mortgage rates take their toll on affordability levels for homebuyers.
According to Nationwide. the average home in Tunbridge Wells now costs £435,709, which is up from £399,546 in September 2021.
But other vendors say average house prices are higher, with Rightmove saying the average home in Tunbridge Wells now sells for £499,208, while Zoopla says it is £518,385, which means the average house in the area could have increased by as much as £40,000 over the last 12 months.
According to Nationwide though, despite this massive year-on-year hike in average house prices, the property market has now stopped growing.
Property values recorded 0.0 per cent growth month-on-month in September compared to August, following a 0.7 per cent increase last month, the mortgage provider has said.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “Prices were unchanged over the month from August, after taking account of seasonal effects. This is the first month not to record a sequential rise since July 2021.
“There have been further signs of a slowdown in the market over the past month, with the number of mortgages approved for house purchase remaining below pre-pandemic levels and surveyors reporting a decline in new buyer inquiries,” Mr Gardner explained.
However, local estate agents believe the current stutter in growth is only temporary.
David Johnson, from KMJ Property confirmed that house prices haven’t grown in Tunbridge Wells in September but added: “Whenever there is political or financial uncertainty, the housing market pauses while it sorts itself out.
“The housing market has been very, very buoyant up to this moment.
“Overall, a lot of things are going on at the moment, making everyone a little uncertain.”